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Subclinical peripheral synovitis detected by echography in patients with axial Spondyloarthritis
Title of the conference
Annual meeting of the Swiss Society of Rheumatology
Bern, Switzerland, September 7-9, 2011
Swiss Medical Weekly
Background: patients with axial Spondyloarthritis (SD), even withoutany obvious peripheral joint synovitis, often complain of pain in thejoints of arms and legs. Several musculoskeletal ultrasound (US)scores developed in rheumatoid arthritis have demonstrated theircapacity of discovering subclinical synovitis which were relevant interm of disease activity and for treatment strategies. None of thesescores however have been, to our knowledge, applied tospondyloarthritis patients.Objectives: to determine if subclinical synovitis can be detected byechography in patients with SD and if these synovitis are relevantcompared with RA and controls.Methods: the Swiss Sonography in Arthritis and Rheumatism(SONAR) group has developed a reproducible semi-quantitative scorefor RA using OMERACT criteria for synovitis. The score includes Bmode and Doppler mode. 35 out of 40 enrolled SD patients fulfillingthe 2010 diagnostic criteria were evaluated according to the SONARscore. In none of them, peripheral synovitis was clearly demonstrated,although some have or reported recurrent peripheral joint pain. Thescore was also applied to 20 matched controls and 40 consecutive RApatients (RA). 19 of them were in remission (DAS: <2.6), 10 with alow activity (DAS: 2.6 <>3.4) and 11 with a moderate activity disease(DAS: 3.5 <>5.1). All the patients and the controls had a completeclinical, biological and auto-evaluation assessment (joint pain andswelling counts, DAS28, HAQ, BASDAI BASMI, BASFI, m-SACRAH).The ultra-sonographer was blind to all these parameters.Results: a B mode score >8, was set up as a cut-off value forsignificant synovitis as only 10% of the controls (median: 5.9 ± 2.2)and 90% of active RA had a higher score .34% of SD had significantsynovitis which remained mostly mild. Their median B mode score(12 ± 1.6) was higher but not significantly than in remission Ra (7.1 ±3.4). Only active RA (DAS >3.5) had significant higher echographicscores: B mode (17 ± 11), Doppler score and cumulative score forsynovitis grade >1. BASDAI, BASFI, BASMI, m-SACRAH, DAS28 andCRP were not significantly different in SD patients with or withoutsynovitis.Conclusions: some patients with axial Spondyloarthritis havesubclinical but significant peripheral synovitis detected by echography.The impact of these synovitis remains uncertain as their presencedoes not seem to significantly influence disease activity and functionevaluation tools.
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