The aim of this prospective study was to examine whether ultrasound or clinical abnormalities at enthesal sites predict radiographic progression at entheses in psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Consecutive PsA patients were included and subjected to clinical and ultrasound assessments at 14 entheses at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Radiographs were performed at 0 and 12 months. By US, we investigated structural (erosions, osteophytes) and inflammatory changes [grey scale (0-32) and power Doppler (0-14, range global ultrasound score 0-140)], and radiographs were evaluated for enthesophytes and erosions (score range 0-56). Multivariate regression models were conducted to identify the possible association of clinical and ultrasound findings with radiographic progression.
We examined 83 patients at baseline, of whom 43 (51.8%) had complete clinical, ultrasound and X-ray data. Twenty-four of 43 patients (55.8%) developed radiographic progression of entheses. These patients were younger (49.6 vs 59.3, P =0.005), had shorter disease duration (9.7 vs 17.9 years, P=0.015) and lower clinical disease activity at 6-months [disease activity in psoriatic arthritis (DAPSA) 6.7 vs 17.0, P=0.018] as compared with patients without progression. Non-progressors had higher ultrasound enthesophyte scores at baseline than progressors (20 vs 15, P<0.05). The multivariate regression analysis revealed that 48.6% of the variance of the X-ray score at 12-months follow-up (RegcoeffB = 0.827, P=0.000) could be explained by the baseline US enthesophyte score.
Our data indicate that radiographic progression at entheses is linked with age, disease duration and ultrasound verified enthesophytes at baseline. No other ultrasound parameter predicted radiographic progression at entheses.

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