Introduction: We sought to assess vascularity in wrist tenosynovitis by using power Doppler ultrasound (PDUS) and to compare detection of intra- and peritendinous vascularity with that of contrast-enhanced grey-scale ultrasound (CEUS).
Methods: Twenty-six tendons of 24 patients (nine men, 15 women; mean age ± SD, 54.4 ± 11.8 years) with a clinical diagnosis of tenosynovitis were examined with B-mode ultrasonography, PDUS, and CEUS by using a second-generation contrast agent, SonoVue (Bracco Diagnostics, Milan, Italy) and a low-mechanical-index ultrasound technique. Thickness of synovitis, extent of vascularized pannus, intensity of peritendinous vascularisation, and detection of intratendinous vessels was incorporated in a 3-score grading system (grade 0 to 2). Interobserver variability was calculated.
Results: With CEUS, a significantly greater extent of vascularity could be detected than by using PDUS (P < 0.001). In terms of peri- and intratendinous vessels, CEUS was significantly more sensitive in the detection of vascularization compared with PDUS (P < 0.001). No significant correlation between synovial thickening and extent of vascularity could be found (P = 0.089 to 0.097). Interobserver reliability was calculated to be excellent when evaluating the grading score (κ = 0.811 to 1.00).
Conclusions: CEUS is a promising tool to detect tendon vascularity with higher sensitivity than PDUS by improved detection of intra- and peritendinous vascularity.