Ultrasound findings on patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis in clinical remission

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Jul;63(7):1013-9. doi: 10.1002/acr.20478.


Objective: To assess whether children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in clinical remission show pathologic findings on either gray-scale or power Doppler ultrasound of their joints.

Methods: Children with JIA were eligible if they were in clinical remission for at least 3 months, as defined by the absence of clinically active joints and serologic markers of inflammation. Gray-scale as well as power Doppler ultrasonography of the wrist, knee, and ankle were carried out on previously affected joints and unaffected contralateral joints. Images were read by 2 independent readers. Findings were categorized as 1) structural abnormalities in the case of synovial thickening or increased joint fluid on gray-scale ultrasound or 2) power Doppler positive in the case of an abnormal power Doppler signal.

Results: The study cohort consisted of 28 patients. Eight of 14 patients with previous wrist involvement had pathologic gray-scale findings, and 3 of these 14 patients also had pathologic Doppler findings in the wrist. None of the 20 patients with past knee involvement had pathologic gray-scale or Doppler findings in the knee. Six of 15 patients with previous ankle involvement had pathologic gray-scale findings and 1 of the 15 patients had pathologic Doppler findings in the tibiotalar joint.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that some patients who meet clinical criteria for remission continue to show ongoing pathology on joint ultrasound, which may be suggestive of persistent inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Ultrasonography
  • Wrist Joint / diagnostic imaging*