The improvements in rheumatoid arthritis care, control strategies, and drug treatment have increased the chances of achieving remission in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Many rheumatologists use ultrasound to manage arthritis. This study aims to investigate whether a treatment strategy based on structured ultrasound assessment can lead to improved arthritis outcomes.

This parallel-group, two-arm, open-label, randomized controlled strategy trial included a total of 238 patients aged 18-75 years rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug naivety with an indication for disease-modifying drug therapy were included. Of 238 patients, 122 were randomized to an ultrasound tight control strategy and 116 patients to a conventional tight control strategy. The primary outcomes of the study were no swollen joints and non-progression of radiographic joint damage.

22% of patients in the ultrasound group and 19% of patients in the conventional group achieved the primary outcome. Other analyzed outcomes, including measures of disease activity, functioning, quality of life, radiographic progression, and adverse events, were similar in the groups. The rate of serious adverse events was 5% in the ultrasound group and 6% in the conventional group.

The research concluded that the use of ultrasound in the management of rheumatoid arthritis was not significantly beneficial than conventional management strategies.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4205