Ultrasound features of achilles enthesitis in psoriatic arthritis: a systematic review

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The objectives were to evaluate the methodological and reporting quality of ultrasound (US) studies of Achilles enthesitis in people with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), to identify the definitions and scoring systems adopted and to estimate the prevalence of ultrasound features of Achilles enthesitis in this population.

A systematic literature review was conducted using the AMED, CINAHL, MEDLINE, ProQuest and Web of Science databases. Eligible studies had to measure US features of Achilles enthesitis in people with PsA. Methodological quality was assessed using a modified Downs and Black Quality Index tool. US protocol reporting was assessed using a checklist informed by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the reporting of US studies in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

Fifteen studies were included. One study was scored as high methodological quality, 9 as moderate and 5 as low. Significant heterogeneity was observed in the prevalence, descriptions, scoring of features and quality of US protocol reporting. Prevalence estimates (% of entheses) reported included hypoechogenicity [mean 5.9% (S.D. 0.9)], increased thickness [mean 22.1% (S.D. 12.2)], erosions [mean 3.3% (S.D. 2.5)], calcifications [mean 42.6% (S.D. 15.6)], enthesophytes [mean 41.3% (S.D. 15.6)] and Doppler signal [mean 11.8% (S.D. 10.1)].

The review highlighted significant variations in prevalence figures that could potentially be explained by the range of definitions and scoring criteria available, but also due to the inconsistent reporting of US protocols. Uptake of the EULAR recommendations and using the latest definitions and validated scoring criteria would allow for a better understanding of the frequency and severity of individual features of pathology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ii19-ii34
Number of pages16
JournalRheumatology Advances in Practice
Issue numberSupplement 2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2021


  • psoriatic arthritis
  • achilles tendon
  • ultrasound
  • enthesitis
  • scoring
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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