Objective. In this study, we evaluated whether ultrasound (US) subdeltoid bursitis (SB) and/or biceps tenosynovitis (BT) presence at baseline could represent a predictive marker of response to standard therapy after 12 months of followup, and whether a positive US examination could highlight the need of higher maintenance dosage of glucocorticoids (GC) at 6 and 12 months in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). Methods. Sixty-six consecutive patients with PMR underwent bilateral shoulder US evaluations before starting therapy and after 12 months of followup. Absence of girdle pain and morning stiffness (clinical remission) and laboratory variables were evaluated. After diagnosis, all patients were treated with prednisone. Results. At baseline, SB and/or BT were present in 46 patients (70%), of whom 33 (72%) became negative while 13 (28%) remained positive at the 12-month US evaluation. All patients rapidly achieved a clinical remission, and at 6 months 26 (39%) also achieved a laboratory variable normalization. According to US positivity at baseline, no difference was found in remission or relapse rate after 12 months. Thirty patients (46%) at 6 months and 7 (11%) at 12 months were still taking more than 5 mg/day of prednisone. According to the US pattern at baseline, no difference was found in the mean GC dose at 6 and 12 months. Conclusion. In patients with PMR, the presence of SB and/or BT on US at diagnosis is not a predictive marker of GC response or of a higher GC dosage to maintain remission in a 12-month prospective followup study.
- Immunology and Allergy
- Polymyalgia rheumatica biceps tendonitis
- Steroid dose
- Subdeltoid bursitis shoulder ultrasound