Ultrasound scoring systems: assessing disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis

Authors: J. Hurňáková;  J. Gatterová;  K. Pavelka
Authors‘ workplace: Revmatologický ústav, Praha
Published in: Čes. Revmatol., 20, 2012, No. 2, p. 62-72.
Category: Overview Reports


Musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) is a modern imaging modality, increasingly gaining popularity among rheumatologists for its considerable diagnostic potential. Development of high-frequency transducers required for visualization of superficially lying structures, in contrast to radiography, has allowed an examination of soft tissues, e.g. tendons and synovial hypertrophy, much more precisely. Ultrasonographic examination of joints facilitates diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, particularly at an early stage, when clinical assessment is often negative or at least non-specific, at best in a short so-called ”window of opportunity.” Its benefit is not only in the initial diagnosis. US also plays an important role in accurate assessment of disease activity whenever needed. In this way, US aids clinicians to make further treatment decisions, especially in the new era of highly effective biologic agents. Many previous studies have shown, that sonography is more sensitive in monitoring a disease activity than presently most used composite indices (DAS, DAS28, SDAI, CDAI indices). However, there is a need for a standardized measurement system for investigating, detecting and scoring of pathological findings on a global level. This present study informs about ultrasound scoring systems mostly used in disease activity assessment and gives an overview of summarized scoring Indices.

Key words:
rheumatoid arthritis, synovitis, ultrasonography, ultrasound scoring systems, disease activity assessment, remission


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