The aim of this article is to evaluate the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in the daily clinical practice of a rheumatology unit. We conducted a descriptive retrospective analysis of the ultrasound examinations performed during 2011 and a comparison of these examinations with those performed between 1998 and 2003 and between 2007 and 2008. A total of 712 ultrasound examinations performed in 2011 were reviewed. Out of the total, examinations of individual areas of the body represented 11.6% versus 45.9% of the examinations made between 2007 and 2008 and 100% of those performed before 2003. The remaining 88.4% of ultrasound examinations performed in 2011 were intended to investigate inflammation in 25.8%, differential diagnosis of arthralgia in 17.1%, enthesis in 12.6% and temporal arteries in 17.3%, and to conduct ultrasound-guided procedures in 10.6% and study microcrystalline pathologies in 4.7%. In our unit, ultrasonography is evolving from being a mere investigation of individual areas of the body to becoming a clinical information tool, which contributes to the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease activity in the patient as a whole.
Ultrasonography, Musculoskeletal, Doppler.