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Novel Ultrasound Image Acquisition Protocol and Scoring System for the Pediatric Knee

Ting, T. V.; Vega-Fernandez, P.; Oberle, E. J.; De Ranieri, D.; Bukulmez, H.; Lin, C.; Moser, D.; Barrowman, N. J.; Zhao, Y.; Benham, H. M.; Tasan, L.; Thatayatikom, A.; Roth, J.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 Sep 8; 71(7):977-985


OBJECTIVE: The use of musculoskeletal ultrasound is increasing among pediatric rheumatologists. Reliable scoring systems are needed for the objective assessment of synovitis. The aims of this study were to create a standardized and reproducible image acquisition protocol for B-mode and Doppler ultrasound of the pediatric knee, and to develop a standardized scoring system and determine its reliability for pediatric knee synovitis. METHODS: Six pediatric rheumatologists developed a set of standard views for knee assessment in children with juvenile arthritis. Subsequently, a comprehensive literature review, practical exercises, and a consensus process were performed. A scoring system for both B-mode and Doppler was then developed and assessed for reliability. Interreader reliability or agreement among a total of 16 raters was determined using 2-way single-score intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) analysis. RESULTS: Twenty-one views to assess knee arthritis were initially identified. Following completion of practical exercises and subsequent consensus processes, 3 views in both B-mode and Doppler were selected: suprapatellar longitudinal and medial/lateral parapatellar transverse views. Several rounds of scoring and modifications resulted in a final ICC of suprapatellar view B-mode 0.89 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.86-0.92) and Doppler 0.55 (95% CI 0.41-0.69), medial parapatellar view B-mode 0.76 (95% CI 0.68-0.83) and Doppler 0.75 (95% CI 0.66-0.83), and lateral parapatellar view B-mode 0.82 (95% CI 0.75-0.88) and Doppler 0.76 (95% CI 0.66-0.84). CONCLUSION: A novel B-mode and Doppler image acquisition and scoring system for assessing synovitis in the pediatric knee was successfully developed through practical exercises and a consensus process. Study results demonstrate overall good-to-excellent reliability.

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