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Hand and wrist involvement in systemic sclerosis: US features.

Radiology 2013 December
PURPOSE: To characterize ultrasonographic (US) features in the hand of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) and to evaluate the sensitivity of US in the detection of calcinosis and acroosteolysis.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The local ethics committee approved this study, and oral informed consent was obtained. A total of 44 consecutive patients with SSc (34 women; mean age, 56.1 years ± 12.1 [standard deviation]; 10 men; mean age, 45.0 years ± 14.0) and 30 healthy control subjects (20 women; mean age, 46.3 years ± 12.1; 10 men; mean age, 39.6 years ± 10.8) were included between October 2010 and December 2011. Bilateral US, including Doppler assessment of the wrists, hands, and fingers, was performed, and presence of synovitis, tenosynovitis with or without a layered appearance, calcifications, acroosteolysis, and distal vascularization was recorded. Radiography of both hands was performed to assess for acroosteolysis and calcinosis. Frequency of US features, sensitivity of US for calcinosis and acroosteolysis, and respective confidence intervals were calculated.

RESULTS: Synovitis was found in 17 patients (39%). Tenosynovitis was found in 12 patients (27%), and it had a layered pattern in 15 (41%) of 37 cases. Calcinosis was found in 17 patients (39%) with US, with a sensitivity of 89%. Acroosteolysis was found in nine (20%) patients with US and in 10 (23%) patients with radiography, with 90% sensitivity for US. Distal vascularization was detected in 26 patients (59%) and 30 control subjects (100%) and was in contact with the acroosteolysis bed in seven (78%) of nine patients with SSc.

CONCLUSION: US can be used to assess features of SSc, including synovitis, tenosynovitis, calcinosis, acroosteolysis, and distal vascularization and is sensitive for calcinosis and acroosteolysis detection. A layered pattern (similar to the appearance of an artichoke heart) of tenosynovitis was seen commonly. Online supplemental material is available for this article.

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