Objective: The main aim of this study was to investigate the short-term efficacy of CS loco-regional treatment performed under US guidance in tenosynovitis of patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis.
Methods: Thirty consecutive patients affected by chronic arthritis and with clinical suspicion of tenosynovitis were recruited to undergo US assessment. In the sonographically proven cases, US-guided CS injection was performed. A visual analogue scale for pain (ranging from 0 to 10) and a tenderness score (ranging from 0 to 3) were used for the clinical evaluation. Sonographic pathological findings indicative of tenosynovitis were scored using a semi-quantitative 4-grade scoring system, for both grey-scale and power Doppler US, at baseline and during a follow-up visit at 2 weeks after the CS injection.
Results: In 21 (70%) of 30 patients, the clinical suspicion of tenosynovitis was confirmed (9 with RA, 11 with PsA and 1 with ReA). In the other nine patients, US revealed synovitis of the adjacent joints, bursitis, oedema of the s.c. tissue or a partial tear. In all cases the appropriate needle placement and subsequent CS injection into the tendon sheath were obtained with US confirmation. A significant reduction in all clinical and sonographic scorings was found during the follow-up visit.
Conclusions: The present study shows the efficacy of US-guided peritendinous CS injections in the management of patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis presenting as US-proven tenosynovitis.