Ultrasound may help diagnose arthritis

In a new study, researchers found that ultrasound could help differentiate between the major types of arthritis when combined with a physical exam and patient history.

This may be beneficial in the early diagnosis of the major types of arthritis.

The research was conducted by a team from SouthWest Medical University.

Ultrasound has been widely used in clinical settings for the assessment of different types of arthritis as well as in their management.

In the study, the team examined the findings of 52 experimental and clinical studies.

These studies assessed the use of ultrasound in imaging the major types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD), psoriatic arthritis, infectious arthritis, and spondyloarthritis.

They found that different modalities of ultrasound were effective to diagnose major types of arthritis, with different strengths and drawbacks.

For example, in osteoarthritis, ultrasound was particularly effective in identifying synovial changes within joints, soft tissue pathologies, osteophytosis, bony erosions, Baker cysts, and bursitis.

In CPPD, ultrasound was useful in identifying calcium pyrophosphate crystals via specific anatomic characteristics of the crystals and provided a radiation-free alternative to the conventional X-ray.

In addition, ultrasound could differentiate between gouty arthritis and CPPD.

The team says ultrasound can be very helpful in bed side analysis of the major types of arthritis as well as in differentiating between them because the method is non-invasive and very cheap.

One author of the study is Homagni Sikha Roy, M.D., of SouthWest Medical University.

The study is published in The Open Medical Imaging Journal.

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