Interstitial Lung Disease

Ultrasound should be considered a potential ILD screening tool in patients with RA

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Ultrasound may be potentially implemented as a friendly screening tool in early phases of interstitial lung disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study.

This study included 74 patients with RA and 74 healthy controls. Patients underwent pulmonary examination, laboratory data, DLCO measure, chest HRCT and radiographs, and US examination.

Ultrasound showed signs of ILD in 30 patients with RA (40.5%), of which 17 (56.6%) did not have respiratory symptoms. Comparatively, HRCT showed signs of ILD in 27 patients with RA (36.4%).

Ultrasound sensitivity was 92% and specificity was 89%. There was a positive correlation between ultrasound and HRCT findings (P < 0.001) but no correlation with chest radiographs and diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) findings. There was a positive association between US findings and DAS28-ESR, anti-CCP, and rheumatoid factor.

Feasibility, represented by the mean time spent to perform the pulmonary ultrasound assessment, was 7.8 minutes.

Gutiérrez M, Ruta S, Clavijo-Cornejo D, et al. The emerging role of ultrasound in detecting interstitial lung disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Joint Bone Spine. 2022;105407. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2022.105407. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35537698.