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Ultrasonographic Measurement of the Femoral Cartilage Thickness in Patients with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Levent Ozcakar, Aslý Celebi, Murat Kara, Turker Turker, Adem Polat, Victoria Akse-Onal, Erkan Demirkaya, Seza Ozen; FMF Arthritis Vasculitis and Orphan disease Research in Paediatric Rheumatology (FAVOR)..

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Objective: To evaluate the femoral cartilage thicknesses of oligoarticular JIA patients (affected vs unaffected) by using ultrasonography (US), and to find out whether those US measurements were related with the clinical parameters of the patients.
Materials: Twenty-six children (12 boys, 14 girls) with mono-articular (knee involvement) juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), with a mean age of 8.84±4.06 years were enrolled. Demographic and clinical features of the subjects including age, sex, body mass index, disease duration, age at onset, medical treatment, laboratory evaluations and presence of uveitis were all noted. The femoral cartilage thicknesses of both knees were measured with a 7-12 MHz linear probe while subjects’ knees were held in maximum flexion. Three mid-point measurements were taken from both knees (lateral condyle, intercondylar area and medial condyle) and the values relating to the unaffected knees were taken as controls.
Results: Femoral cartilage thickness values were found to be similar (affected vs. non-affected sides) for all the three measurement sites (p values >0.05) and cartilage thickness values did not correlate with the clinical features of the patients.
Conclusions: According to our preliminary findings, the femoral cartilage seems to be unaffected in JIA; however taking into account the limited number of patients with inhomogenous disease course, we suggest that further studies would be necessary to confirm our results.

Key words: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, knee, cartilage, thickness, ultrasonography

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