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Finger tendon involvement in rheumatoid arthritis. Evaluation with high-frequency sonography.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize finger tendon involvement in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS: The finger tendons of 20 RA patients were studied by ultrasonography using a high-frequency (13-MHz) transducer.

RESULTS: Eighteen patients (90%) showed finger tendon abnormalities: widening of the flexor tendon sheath (80%), loss of the normal fibrillar echotexture (60%), irregularity of the extensor (30%) and flexor (50%) tendon margins, tendon tear (10%), synovial cyst (20%).

CONCLUSION: High-frequency sonography is helpful in assessing even minimal finger tendon lesions in RA patients.

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