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Ultrasound

  • Musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSUS) is sensitive to early changes in JIA and helps to identify which structures are involved in a clinically swollen joint.
  • Ultrasound can differentiate between joint effusions, synovial hypertrophy, synovitis, enthesitis, tendonitis and tenosynovitis.
  • Ultrasound is cheap and easy to perform and is well tolerated by most children, without the need for general anaesthesia. 
  • MSUS findings are operator dependent; standardising procedures and comparing findings between observers is important. 

The Figure shows normal hip (left) and an abnormal hip (right) with an effusion in the widened joint space

US joint

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