Back to the future: forget ultrasound and focus on clinical assessment in rheumatoid arthritis management

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Abstract

Ultrasound (US) unquestionably improves many aspects of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) diagnosis and management, but no consensus has been reached regarding the optimal US methodology that should be used, and high levels of standardisation have not yet been attained. Current evidence from two randomised controlled trials does not support the US in directing treatment decisions. A return to the endorsement of clinical assessment and the adoption of T2T strategies aiming at ACR/EULAR remission still represent the standard of care for RA and should be pursued through appropriate educational programmes. Thus, for now, the major application of sonography in arthritis should have a focus on diagnostic and especially differential diagnostic aspects.

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