Our experience is reported with the combined use of radiology and US in the study of 210 joints of hemophilic patients. The study was carried out considering that in hemophilia the classification of the grades of disease generally relies upon X-ray findings which, although reliable in the advanced stages of the disease, appear inadequate in the early stages. In fact, synovial hypertrophy, cartilage erosions and initial subchondral cysts are most often missed on X-ray films. In the examined cases, US was employed to evaluate: 1) the degree of synovial hypertrophy, 2) the status of the explorable cartilage, 3) the presence of effusions and 4) the status of bone linings--whenever erosions, even of minimal extent, were suspected, X-rays were always performed and the results employed as the reference standard. The examined joints did not exhibit the same grade of involvement: the knee, elbow and ankle had advanced arthropathy in 85% of cases, corresponding to > or = 7 according to Pettersson score. On the contrary, the shoulder and hip were found to be equally involved either by initial (Pettersson score: 0-6) or by advanced arthropathy (Pettersson score: > or = 7). Moreover, in nearly 10% of the cases, hemarthrosis was found which showed no correlation with the grade of joint involvement. Our results indicate that: 1) US appears very useful in the early stages of the disease when the X-ray picture is negative or poorly significant. The demonstration of early alterations is useful mainly in those cases in whom synoviectomy is considered (for prevention); the latter is useful only if performed before cartilage erosion appear; 2) US appears equally useful in hemarthrosis cases, especially in those of limited extent in which the clinical therapeutic management may be difficult; 3) US appears unnecessary in the cases of advanced arthropathy in which X-rays serve as the reference standard.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging