Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine suggest that doctors could make an early diagnosis of juvenile inflammatory arthritis (JIA) by combining sonography with power Doppler with physical examination.
The researchers examined around 84 joints in 19 patients and found that 65 joints were concordant on both sonography and physical examination while 14 were found to be inactive on physical examination but active on sonography.
Of the 14 joints, five were found to have subclinical disease when physical examination was conducted while 8 had mild hyperemia as the only sign of disease activity on sonography. Of the remaining five joints that were found to be active on physical examination but inactive on sonography, four were found to have subtalar disease.
Commenting on the study, lead researcher Dr Vikash Panghaal said, "In patients with at least one active joint on physical examination, ultrasound augments the physical exam by identifying subclinical disease (in other joints). Our study confirmed that patients with evidence of subclinical disease do, in many cases, go on to have clinically evident disease."