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      A pilot investigation of the prevalence of US-detectable forefoot joint pathology and reported foot-related disability in participants with systemic lupus erythematosus

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          The main aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of US-detectable forefoot bursae, metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint synovial hypertrophy (SH), Power Doppler (PD) signal or erosion in participants with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). A secondary aim was to determine the strength of potential association between patient reported foot-related disability and US-detected forefoot bursae, MTP joint SH, PD signal or erosion in participants with SLE.


          A cross-sectional observational study of 20 participants with SLE was completed to determine the prevalence of US-detected forefoot bursal, MTP and MCP joint pathology. Patient-reported foot-related impairment and activity limitation (accumulatively referred to as disability) were also recorded. Spearmans’ Rank Correlation analyses were completed to determine the potential strength of association between US-detected pathology and patient report disability.


          The prevalence of MTP joint SH and PD was 80 % (16/20) and 10 % (2/20), respectively. The prevalence of MCP joint SH and PD was 60 % (12/20) and 30 % (6/20) respectively. A significant association was noted between PD scores for the MTP joints and MCP joints ( r = 0.556; p = 0.011) although this was not demonstrated for SH scores ( r = 0.176; p = 0.459). Significant associations between forefoot bursal prevalence and MTP joint PD were noted ( r = 0.467; p = 0.038). The prevalence of bursae and bursal PD (grade 2 or above) was 100 % (20/20) and 10 % (2/20), respectively. Moderate foot-related impairment and activity limitation was reported by 95 and 85 % of participants respectively.


          This pilot study suggests that US-detected MTP, MCP joint and forefoot bursal abnormalities may be prevalent in participants with SLE and they may experience a moderate level of foot-related disability. Further research is required to substantiate these preliminary findings.

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          Development of a foot impact scale for rheumatoid arthritis.

          To develop a new foot impact scale to assess foot status in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using established qualitative methodology and the latest item response techniques (Rasch analysis). Foot problems in RA were explored by conducting qualitative interviews that were then used to generate items for a new foot impact scale. Further validation was undertaken following postal surveys and Rasch analysis. Analysis of the first postal survey (n = 192 responses) produced a 63-item binary response, 4-subscale instrument. The 4 subscales covered the domains impairment, activities, participation, and footwear. Following test-retest postal surveys and additional analysis, the instrument was reduced to a 2 subscale, 51-item questionnaire covering the domains of impairments/shoes and activities/participation. Initial results of these subscales indicate good psychometric properties, external validity, and test-retest reliability. A foot impact scale to assess the impact of RA and to measure the effect of interventions has been developed. The 2 scales comprising the instrument demonstrate good psychometric properties.
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            The impact of rheumatoid arthritis on foot function in the early stages of disease: a clinical case series

            Background Foot involvement occurs early in rheumatoid arthritis but the extent to which this impacts on the structure and function leading to impairment and foot related disability is unknown. The purpose of this study was to compare clinical disease activity, impairment, disability, and foot function in normal and early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) feet using standardised clinical measures and 3D gait analysis. Methods Twelve RA patients with disease duration ≤2 years and 12 able-bodied adults matched for age and sex underwent 3D gait analysis to measure foot function. Disease impact was measured using the Leeds Foot impact Scale (LFIS) along with standard clinical measures of disease activity, pain and foot deformity. For this small sample, the mean differences between the groups and associated confidence intervals were calculated using the t distribution Results Moderate-to-high foot impairment and related disability were detected amongst the RA patients. In comparison with age- and sex-matched controls, the patients with early RA walked slower (1.05 m/s Vs 1.30 m/s) and had a longer double-support phase (19.3% Vs 15.8%). In terminal stance, the heel rise angle was reduced in the patients in comparison with normal (-78.9° Vs -85.7°). Medial arch height was lower and peak eversion in stance greater in the RA patients. The peak ankle plantarflexion power profile was lower in the patients in comparison with the controls (3.4 W/kg Vs 4.6 W/kg). Pressure analysis indicated that the RA patients had a reduced lesser toe contact area (7.6 cm2 Vs 8.1 cm2), elevated peak forefoot pressure (672 kPa Vs 553 kPa) and a larger mid-foot contact area (24.6 cm2 Vs 19.4 cm2). Conclusion Analysis detected small but clinically important changes in foot function in a small cohort of RA patients with disease duration <2 years. These were accompanied by active joint disease and impairment and disability.
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              Evaluation of several ultrasonography scoring systems for synovitis and comparison to clinical examination: results from a prospective multicentre study of rheumatoid arthritis.

              To evaluate different global ultrasonographic (US) synovitis scoring systems as potential outcome measures of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) according to the Outcome Measures in Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials (OMERACT) filter. To study selected global scoring systems, for the clinical, B mode and power Doppler techniques, the following joints were evaluated: 28 joints (28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28)), 20 joints (metacarpophalangeals (MCPs) + metatarsophalangeals (MTPs)) and 38 joints (28 joints + MTPs) using either a binary (yes/no) or a 0-3 grade. The study was a prospective, 4-month duration follow-up of 76 patients with RA requiring anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy (complete follow-up data: 66 patients). Intraobserver reliability was evaluated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), construct validity was evaluated using the Cronbach alpha test and external validity was evaluated using level of correlation between scoring system and C reactive protein (CRP). Sensitivity to change was evaluated using the standardised response mean. Discriminating capacity was evaluated using the standardised mean differences in patients considered by the doctor as significantly improved or not at the end of the study. Different clinimetric properties of various US scoring systems were at least as good as the clinical scores with, for example, intraobserver reliability ranging from 0.61 to 0.97 versus from 0.53 to 0.82, construct validity ranging from 0.76 to 0.89 versus from 0.76 to 0.88, correlation with CRP ranging from 0.28 to 0.34 versus from 0.28 to 0.35 and sensitivity to change ranging from 0.60 to 1.21 versus from 0.96 to 1.36 for US versus clinical scoring systems, respectively. This study suggests that US evaluation of synovitis is an outcome measure at least as relevant as physical examination. Further studies are required in order to achieve optimal US scoring systems for monitoring patients with RA in clinical trials and in clinical practice.

                Author and article information

                +44(0)7969 474 879 ,
                J Foot Ankle Res
                J Foot Ankle Res
                Journal of Foot and Ankle Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                2 August 2016
                2 August 2016
                : 9
                Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Building 45, Burgess Road, Southampton, SO17 1BJ UK
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: Southampton Rheumatology Trust
                Award ID: SRT/2013/2
                Award Recipient :
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                © The Author(s) 2016


                lupus erythematosus, systemic, forefoot, human, joints, bursa, synovial, ultrasonography


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