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Which ultrasound lesions contribute to dactylitis in psoriatic arthritis and their reliability in a clinical setting

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OBJECTIVES: To explore the frequency of ultrasound elementary lesions in dactylitis in psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and the reliability of scoring these lesions in a clinical setting.

METHODS: In 31 patients with PsA and clinical dactylitis, ultrasound assessment of the affected finger or toe was performed using greyscale and color Doppler mode. One examiner scanned all patients and a second examiner scanned 10 patients for inter-reader reliability. For each digit, the following lesions were evaluated: subcutaneous edema; soft tissue thickening; synovitis of the digital joints; tenosynovitis of the flexor tendon; enthesitis at the deep flexor tendon and the extensor tendon entheses; and paratenonitis of the extensor tendon. A dactylitis sum-score was calculated. Findings in clinically tender and non-tender digits were compared.

RESULTS: The most frequent lesions were soft tissue thickening (81%) and subcutaneous edema (74%) followed by synovitis (56-68%) and flexor tenosynovitis (52%). Color Doppler was most frequently found subcutaneously (55%) and around the flexor tendons (45%). All lesions were typically found in combinations, most commonly subcutaneous edema and synovitis (71%), subcutaneous edema and flexor tenosynovitis (52%), and all three in combination (52%). Tender digits had a higher dactylitis sum-score and numerically higher prevalence of most lesions than non-tender digits. Intra- and inter-reader agreements were moderate to excellent, though lower for few components of digital enthesitis, especially hypoechogenicity.

CONCLUSION: Dactylitis in PsA appears to encompass several lesions, most often subcutaneous changes combined with synovitis and/or flexor tenosynovitis. Reliability of scoring established ultrasound lesions of dactylitis in a clinical setting is moderate-excellent. Key Points • Dactylitis in psoriatic arthritis consists of multiple ultrasound lesions • A dactylitis ultrasound sum-score gives an impression of severity by including all lesions • Reliability of ultrasound scoring of dactylitis components is good.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Rheumatology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1061-1067
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note


    Research areas

  • Arthritis, Psoriatic/complications, Humans, Reproducibility of Results, Tendons/diagnostic imaging, Tenosynovitis/diagnostic imaging, Ultrasonography

ID: 74845738