The role of ultrasound imaging in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) will be examined by a large group of experts, and may lead to a major “step-change” in disease management, it was announced at last week’s European League Against Rheumatism (Eular) Annual Congress in London. The Targeted Ultrasound Initiative (TUI) group, a network of ultrasonographers and rheumatologists, announced its plans to lead an international research effort to determine the added value of ultrasound to management of RA.
“The outcome of our efforts and research could produce a major stepchange in the management of RA. Clinical remission is now accepted as the current gold standard of a treat-to-target approach to management, but we need to take into account new evidence that clinical criteria are insensitive to detect low but clinically relevant levels of inflammation accurately. TUI’s ambition is to determine if imaging combined with a treat-to-target approach can achieve true remission in RA and improve patient outcomes compared to an approach without ultrasound,” said EULAR President and Chair of the TUI Steering Committee, Professor Paul Emery.
The TUI Group have designed an international, multi centre study to test the benefit of utilising ultrasound as a treatment endpoint in the management of RA. Seven European countries (Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, UK) and Japan are involved in the study. Dr Richard Wakefield, senior lecturer in rheumatology from Leeds University, advised that this will be a unique study which is likely to have a “significant impact” on clinical practice. Dr Wakefield added that ultrasound lends itself well to multi-centre clinical trials as it is widely available and relatively inexpensive.
Chartered Physiotherapists use a wide range of treatments for arthritic patients depending on the type of arthritis and its severity. Physiotherapy can help to maintain independence through improved mobility, strength and flexibility.
Irish Medical News – http://www.imn.ie/clinical/17-clinical-news/3933-new-step-change-due-in-ra-management