Arthritis research & therapy 2017 07 2119(1) 171 doi 10.1186/s13075-017-1381-2
Ultrasonography (US) and dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) can assess urate burden in gout. The objective of this study was to compare the quantification of urate deposition provided by US to the one provided by DECT.
Patients with a diagnosis of gout were prospectively recruited to undergo quantification of urate deposition using US and DECT. US examination for tophi and the double contour (DC) sign was performed on the knees and feet and corresponding DECT scans provided volumes of tophi and of overall urate deposition. The primary endpoint was the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) of the volume of the index tophus measured by US and DECT and its 95% confidence interval (CI 95%).
Of the 64 patients included, 34 presented with at least one tophus on US. DECT inter-reader agreement for urate deposition was perfect with an ICC of 1 (1-1) and good for the measurement of the index tophus with an ICC of 0.69 (0.47-0.83). The ICC for the measurement of the index tophus between the two techniques was poor with a value of 0.45 (0.1-0.71). The average ratio between the index tophi volume as assessed by DECT and US was 0.65. The number of DC-positive joints did not correlate with DECT volume of overall deposits (Spearman correlation coefficient of 0.23).
DECT measurements of tophi give smaller volumes to the same tophi measured with US, and US signs of urate deposition in joints do not correlate with overall DECT volumes of extra-articular deposition.