Researchers examined the prevalence and distribution of clinical and ultrasound pathologic findings at ankle level in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Ultrasound effectively identified joint and tendon inflammatory involvement at the ankle level in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which explains the reason for ankle pain when present, according to cross-sectional study results published in Clinical Rheumatology.
The investigators sought to describe and compare the prevalence and distribution of clinical and ultrasound pathologic findings at the ankle level in patients with RA. Patients in the study were recruited consecutively and independently of disease status or treatment, as well as regardless of the presence of pain at the ankle level. An experienced rheumatologist recorded the presence of spontaneous pain and performed a physical examination of both ankles to elicit tenderness. Another rheumatologist who was experienced in musculoskeletal ultrasound carried out a bilateral ultrasound examination of the ankles.
Clinical evaluation was performed to detect the presence or absence of spontaneous pain and tenderness at 4 different ankle locations (anterior, lateral, medial, and posterior). Ankle movements were evaluated with the knee flexed. Ultrasound assessments were performed based on the European League Against Rheumatism and Outcome Measures in Rheumatology indications.
A total of 224 ankles in 112 patients with RA were examined; 89.3% were women. Mean participant age was 51 years and the mean duration of RA was 72 months.
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