OBJECTIVE: To assess the value of gray-scale ultrasound (US), color Doppler ultrasound (CDUS), contrast-enhanced CDUS, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the diagnostic evaluation of the hands in patients with remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting edema (RS3PE). METHODS: Eight patients (5 men, 3 women; mean +/- SD age 69.3 +/- 7.2 years) with clinical diagnosis of RS3PE syndrome underwent US, CDUS, contrast-enhanced CDUS, and MRI. US was performed with a linear array transducer operating at 12 MHz. The US contrast agent (SHU 508; Levovist, Schering, Germany) was intravenously infused in a concentration of 300 mg/ml at a rate of 1 ml/minute. RESULTS: All patients showed symmetric subcutaneous edema and synovitis of tendons and finger joints on both US and MRI. Vascularity was detected subcutaneously in tendon sheaths and in the joint synovia on CDUS and MRI. Detection of increased vascularity was improved after contrast administration compared with unenhanced CDUS (P < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Ultrasound, CDUS, contrast-enhanced CDUS, and MRI are valuable tools in the diagnostic evaluation of involved anatomic structures in patients with RS3PE. Contrast-enhanced CDUS is superior to CDUS in assessment of inflammatory edema, effusion, and synovitis.
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