Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Musculo-skeletal Ultrasound in paediatric rheumatology: experience of one University Hospital


Musculo-skeletal Ultrasound (MSK-US) has become essential in the diagnosis and follow-up of children with rheumatic diseases. It’s an innocuous exam that helps diagnostic and treatment decisions and allows treatment efficacy assessment.


To evaluate the usefulness of MSK-US in the study of paediatric rheumatic inflammatory diseases.

Material and methods

Analysis of 330 MSK-US exams performed to 222 children with rheumatic inflammatory diseases in our Department. The children’s ages were between 1 and 18 years (average= 11,7±4,7 years) and 67,6% were female. Synovial membrane proliferation, intra-articular effusion, cartilage contour abnormalities, erosions and periarticular affections were searched in each joint. Clinical and ultrasonographic data were correlated.


MSK-US detected synovitis in 100 of 194 exams (51,5%) of patients that had clinical suspicion of arthritis and in 36 of 136 exams (26,5%) of patients that presented with another symptom. In patients with clinical, but not ultrasonographic synovitis (94), we detected tenosynovitis in 13 cases (13,8%) and synovial cyst in 4 (4,3%). The remaining patients had no ultrasonographic changes.

Overall 39 exams showed ultrasonographic tenosynovitis, 15 (38,5%) of which had the clinical diagnosis too. MSK-US also identified erosions in 7 patients (2 had no ultrasonographic arthritis).

In total, 381 ultrasonographic diagnoses were made. Considering that 49,7% of the exams performed had no abnormalities, 1,3 diagnosis per exam were made.


MSK US confirms or excludes arthritis, which permits a fast treatment or correct therapeutic options, avoiding iatrogenesis in children. It also allows the diagnosis of other articular and periarticular affections, and ultrasound-guided procedures.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to J Madruga Dias.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Dias, J.M., Costa, M.M., Saraiva, F. et al. Musculo-skeletal Ultrasound in paediatric rheumatology: experience of one University Hospital. Pediatr Rheumatol 9 (Suppl 1), P42 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: