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13.09.2019 | Review Article | Ausgabe 1/2020

World Journal of Pediatrics 1/2020

Current status and recent advances on the use of ultrasonography in pediatric rheumatic diseases

World Journal of Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2020
Li-Xia Zou, Mei-Ping Lu, Lawrence Kwok Leung Jung
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Ultrasonography has become a useful tool in the clinical rheumatology settings in the last two decades, but its use has only recently been explored by pediatric rheumatologists. The aim of this article is to review the literature on the current status and recent advances on the use of ultrasound in pediatric rheumatic diseases.

Data sources

We have retrieved and reviewed the relevant articles from MEDLINE/PubMed databases published so far, on the applications of ultrasound in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis, enthesitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and other rheumatic diseases. In addition, articles on novel ultrasound imaging technology of potential use in pediatric rheumatology are also reviewed.


In JIA, ultrasound can be used to detect subclinical synovitis, to improve the classification of patients in JIA subtypes, to capture early articular damage, to monitor treatment response, and to guide intraarticular injections. Ultrasound is also considered useful in other rheumatic disorders for the evaluation of musculoskeletal symptoms, assessment of parotid gland pathology, and measurement of skin thickness and pathology. Novel ultrasound techniques developed to augment the functionality of ultrasonography may also be applicable in pediatric rheumatic disorders.


Ultrasound shows great promise in the assessment and management of children with rheumatologic disorders. However, standardization and validation of ultrasound in healthy children and in patients with rheumatic diseases are still needed.

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