Purpose: To correlate power Doppler ultrasonographic (US) findings of the vascularity of synovial tissue of the hip joint with the results of histopathologic examination of the same tissue to assess the value of power Doppler US in the visualization of synovitis.
Materials and methods: The hip joints of 24 patients with osteoarthritis (n = 15) or rheumatoid arthritis (n = 9) of the hip joint were examined with US before arthroplasty. The vascularity of the synovial membrane was classified qualitatively by using power Doppler US. During surgery, a section of the synovial tissue examined at power Doppler US preoperatively was resected. The vascularity of the tissue specimen was investigated and graded qualitatively by a pathologist who was not aware of the US findings. Visual qualitative grading was controlled by means of analysis of the US images and histopathologic specimens with a digital image evaluation system. Correlations between power Doppler US and histopathologic examination findings were calculated by using Spearman rank correlation and Pearson correlation tests.
Results: The correlation between the qualitative power Doppler US results and the qualitative vascularity grades was 0.92 (P <.01, Spearman rho). The correlation between quantitative and qualitative results was 0.93 (P <.01, Spearman rho) for US imaging and 0.97 (P <.01, Spearman rho) for histopathologic examination.
Conclusion: Study results showed power Doppler US to be reliable for qualitative grading of the vascularity of synovial tissue of the hip.