COSMIN database

Systematic review of the value of ultrasound and magnetic resonance musculoskeletal imaging in the evaluation of response to treatment of gout

Villaverde, V., Rosario, M. P., Loza, E., and Perez, F.
BACKGROUND: Imaging may be useful for monitoring response to therapy. Within the OMERACT proposal for the core set domains for outcome measures in chronic gout, serum urate levels, recurrence of gouty flares, tophus regression, and joint damage imaging have been included, among other proposed issues.

OBJECTIVES: To perform a systematic literature review of the usefulness of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) on assessment of treatment response in patients with gout.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library (up to February 2012), and abstracts presented at the 2010 and 2011 meetings of the American College of Rheumatology and European League Against Rheumatism, were searched for treatment studies of any duration and therapeutic options, examining the ability of MRI/US to assess treatment response in gouty patients. Meta-analyses, systematic reviews, randomized clinical trials, cohort and case-control studies and validation studies were included. Quality was appraised using validated scales.

RESULTS: There were only 3 US published studies in the literature that analysed US utility on assessment of response to treatment in patients with gout. All of them were prospective case studies with a small number of patients and they were reviewed in detailed. A total of 36 patients with gout were examined with US. All of them had a baseline serum urate >6mg/dL. US features of gout (double contour sign, hyperechoic spots in synovial fluid, hyperechoic cloudy areas, tophus diameter and volume) achieved significant reduction in patients who reached the objective of uricemia
CONCLUSIONS: The improvement in ultrasound features shows concurrent validity with uric acid reduction. According to the published evidence, US can be a useful tool for monitoring treatment of gouty patients, although more research is needed. The value of MRI on treatment response assessment in patients with gout remains to be determined.
Reumatol Clin
1885-1398 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Biological and physiological variables:
Biological and physiological variables
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
6 - Clinical rating scales
8 - Imaging tests
9 - Laboratory tests
MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging
US - Ultrasound