RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Point-of-care musculoskeletal ultrasound is critical for the diagnosis of hemarthroses, inflammation and soft tissue abnormalities in adult patients with painful haemophilic arthropathy.

We previously demonstrated in adult patients with haemophilia (PWH) that hemarthrosis is present in only ~1/3rd of acutely painful joints by using point-of-care-musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS). Therefore, other unrecognized tissue abnormalities must contribute to pain. Using high resolution MSKUS, employing grey scale and power Doppler, we sought to retrospectively (i) investigate soft tissue abnormalities in painful haemophilic joints and (ii) to determine to what extent MSKUS findings, functional or radiographic joint scores correlate with biomarkers of inflammation in PWH. Findings were correlated with Hemophilia Joint Health Scores (HJHS), Pettersson scores, high sensitivity C-reactive protein and von Willebrand factor activity and antigen levels. A total of 65 MSKUS examinations for acute and chronic joint pains were performed for 34 adult haemophilia patients, mostly for chronic joint pains (72.3%). The most prominent findings (66.5%) pertained to inflammatory soft tissue changes including synovitis, tendinitis, enthesitis, bursitis and fat pad inflammation. Effusions were present in 55.5% and 46.8% of MSKUS performed for acute and chronic pain, respectively. Of those, 90.0% were bloody during acute and 47.6% during persistent pains. While inflammatory biomarkers correlated well with overall HJHS and total Pettersson scores (P < 0.05), they did not differ between those patients with synovitis and those without. MSKUS is emerging as an important modality to diagnose treatable musculoskeletal abnormalities contributing to pain in haemophilic arthropathy, and therefore seems critical for a personalized approach to haemophilia care. The role of biomarkers in this setting remains less clear and requires further investigation.

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