Musculoskeletal ultrasonography in routine rheumatology practice: data from Central and Eastern European countries

Peter Mandl, Asta Baranauskaite, Nemanja Damjanov, Maja Hojnik, Reka Kurucz, Orsolya Nagy, Petr Nemec, Dora Niedermayer, Porin Perić, Tzvetanka Petranova, Andres Pille, Simona Rednic, Violeta Vlad, Martin Zlnay, Peter V. Balint

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


The main aim was to gain structured insight into the use of musculoskeletal ultrasonography (MSUS) in routine rheumatology practices in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. In a cross-sectional, observational, international, multicenter survey, a questionnaire was sent to investigational sites in CEE countries. Data on all subsequent routine MSUS examinations, site characteristics, MSUS equipment, and investigators were collected over 6 months or up to 100 examinations per center. A total of 95 physicians at 44 sites in 9 countries provided information on a total of 2810 MSUS examinations. The most frequent diagnoses were rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondyloarthritis (34.8 and 14.9 % of cases, respectively). Mean number of joints examined was 6.8. MSUS was most frequently performed for diagnostic purposes (58 %), particularly in patients with undifferentiated arthritis, suspected soft tissue disorders, or osteoarthritis (73.0–85.3 %). In RA patients, 56.3 % of examinations were conducted to monitor disease activity. Nearly all investigations (99 %) had clinical implications, while the results of 78.6 % of examinations (51.6–99.0 %) were deemed useful for patient education. This first standardized multicountry survey performed in CEEs provided a structured documentation of the routine MSUS use in participating countries. The majority of MSUS examinations were performed for diagnostic purposes, whereas one-third was conducted to monitor disease activity in RA. A majority of examinations had an impact on clinical decision making and were also found to be useful for patient education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-854
Number of pages10
JournalRheumatology International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016



  • Central-Eastern Europe
  • Clinical practice
  • Education
  • Musculoskeletal
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Mandl, P., Baranauskaite, A., Damjanov, N., Hojnik, M., Kurucz, R., Nagy, O., Nemec, P., Niedermayer, D., Perić, P., Petranova, T., Pille, A., Rednic, S., Vlad, V., Zlnay, M., & Balint, P. V. (2016). Musculoskeletal ultrasonography in routine rheumatology practice: data from Central and Eastern European countries. Rheumatology International, 36(6), 845-854.