Objective: To develop recommendations for the appropriate use of ultrasound in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in routine practice based on data from the literature and of experts opinion. Methods: Based on a systematic literature review, a scientific committee decided on themes and relevant questions to draw up an initial draft of recommendations. These recommendations were submitted to a group of experts in ultrasound in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases using a Delphi method, which produced preliminary recommendations. These were submitted to an expanded group of ultrasound experts for relevance, comprehensibility and comprehensiveness. The level of agreement of the experts were recorded during a face-to-face meeting. Results: Following two rounds of the Delphi, a consensus was reached on three overarching principles, including definitions of joints, tendons and articular sites to be examined, and 10 recommendations. These recommendations underline the benefit of ultrasound for the diagnosis of RA in cases of inflammatory arthralgia or undifferentiated arthritis as well as in assessing the extent of initial structural and inflammatory damage. They also define the role of ultrasound during follow-up or when considering treatment reduction once clinical remission has been achieved. Lastly, they illustrate the utility of ultrasound in facilitating technical procedures. Conclusion: These 10 consensus-based recommendations should harmonize and optimize clinical practice and thus improve the management of RA patients. Keywords: recommendations; rheumatoid arthritis; ultrasound.
- rheumatoid arthritis