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Sonographic assessment of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease at wrist. A focus on the dorsal scapho-lunate ligament.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound and conventional radiography in the evaluation of calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposits at wrist level.

METHODS: Consecutive patients with a "definite" diagnosis of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease and disease-controls were prospectively included in this cross-sectional single-centre study. Scapho-lunate ligament, triangular fibrocartilage complex, and volar recess of the radio-lunate joint were explored using ultrasound, conventional radiography and computed tomography.

RESULTS: Sixty one patients and 39 disease controls were enrolled. Two-hundred wrists were evaluated using both conventional radiography and ultrasound and 26 using computed tomography. Ultrasound findings indicative of crystal deposits were found in at least one wrist in 95.1% of patients and in 15.4% of controls (P<0.001). Scapho-lunate ligament calcifications were reported in 83.6% of patients and in 5.1% of controls (P<0.001). On conventional radiography, calcifications were found in at least one wrist in 72.1% of patients and in 0% of controls (P<0.001). Using the Ryan-McCarty criteria as a gold standard, sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy were 0.72 (0.59-0.83), 1.0 (0.91-1.0) and 0.83 (0.74-0.90) for conventional radiography and 0.95 (0.86-0.99), 0.85 (0.69-0.94) and 0.91 (0.84-0.96) for ultrasound. The agreement between ultrasound and computed tomography was substantial when assessing triangular fibrocartilage complex (kappa=0.70; 0.43-0.97) and scapho-lunate ligament (kappa=0.69; 0.41-0.97), and moderate for radio-lunate joint (kappa=0.46; 0.12-0.80).

CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound in evaluating wrist involvement in calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease. The inclusion of the scapho-lunate ligament in a disease-oriented scanning protocol could improve the diagnostic performance of ultrasound.

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