Retrospective longitudinal assessment of ultrasound gout lesions using the OMERACT semi-quantitative scoring system

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OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were (i) to evaluate the responsiveness of gout-specific US lesions representing urate deposition in patients receiving treat-to-target urate-lowering therapy using a binary and the OMERACT-defined semi-quantitative scoring systems; (ii) to determine the most responsive US measure for urate deposition and the optimal joint/tendon set for monitoring this.

METHODS: US (28 joints, 14 tendons) was performed in microscopically verified gout patients initiating/increasing urate-lowering therapy and repeated after 6 and 12 months. Static images/videos of pathologies were stored and scored binarily and semi-quantitatively for tophus, double contour sign (DC) and aggregates. Lesion scores were calculated at patient level, as were combined crystal sum scores. Responsiveness of lesions-scored binarily and semi-quantitatively-was calculated at both patient and joint/tendon levels.

RESULTS: Sixty-three patients underwent longitudinal evaluation. The static images/videos assessed retrospectively showed statistically significant decreases in tophus and DC, when scored binarily and semi-quantitatively, whereas aggregates were almost unchanged during follow-up. The responsiveness of the semi-quantitative tophus and DC sum scores were markedly higher than when using binary scoring. The most responsive measure for urate deposition was a combined semi-quantitative tophus-DC-sum score. A feasible joint/tendon set for monitoring included knee and first-second MTP joints and peroneus and distal patella tendons (all bilateral), representing the most prevalent and responsive sites.

CONCLUSION: The OMERACT consensus-based semi-quantitative US gout scoring system showed longitudinal validity with both tophus and DC being highly responsive to treatment when assessed in static images/videos. A responsive US measure for urate deposition and a feasible joint/tendon set for monitoring were proposed and may prove valuable in future longitudinal studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)4711-4721
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2022


  • Arthritis, Gouty
  • Gout/diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography
  • Uric Acid


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