Musculoskeletal (MSK) ultrasound is a valuable imaging modality for the practicing rheumatologist and provides an efficient tool with high diagnostic value in the evaluation of patients with musculoskeletal complaints. The use of MSK ultrasound has evolved in the U.S. due to the emergence of less-expensive, portable ultrasound units, which provide high-quality gray-scale and power Doppler signals. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has provided standardized training courses, as well a certification program, for the practicing rheumatologist, and such training is also available in many fellowship programs.1
Explore this issueOctober 2015
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be challenging in certain clinical settings because crystalline arthropathies can be close mimics of RA. For example, palindromic RA can present with articular symptoms, which can resemble a crystalline process based on historical and clinical features.
The following cases demonstrate the usefulness of ultrasound in providing clues to the underlying diagnosis and highlight a case in which this imaging modality was helpful in assessing disease activity in an established RA patient, which altered the patient management.