PloS one 2017 03 2412(3) e0174481 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0174481
To evaluate the usefulness of skin ultrasound and acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) quantification in diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc).
PATIENTS AND METHODS
28 patients with dcSSc, and 15 age gender matched normal controls were recruited. Skin echogenicity, thickness, and ARFI quantification were measured by ultrasound at 17 sites corresponding to the modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS) in each participant. Compared with controls, skin echogenicity of dcSSc patients was classified into isoechoic, hypoechoic, and hyperechoic. The skin thickness, ARFI quantification and mRSS were compared between isoechoic, hypoechoic, hyperechoic and controls.
In patients with dcSSc, the skin thickness increased as the echogenicity changed on the order of isoechoic, hypoechoic and hyperechoic. ARFI quantification was significantly higher in hyperechoic than isoechoic (p<0.001). The mRSS were significantly higher in hyperechoic and/or hypoechoic than isoechoic. For isoechoic patients and healthy controls, the skin echogenicity or thickness was no significant different, however, the ARFI quantification was significantly higher in isoechoic than controls. CONCLUSION
Skin ultrasound is feasible for assessing the skin involvement in dcSSc. Skin echogenicity correlates with skin thickness, stiffness, and mRSS. ARFI quantification may be more sensitive to detect skin changes, compared with skin echogenicity and thickness.