BMJ Publishing Group, RMD Open, 1(6), p. e001144, 2020
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ObjectivesTo evaluate the sensitivity to change of ultrasound structural gout lesions, as defined by the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) ultrasound group, in patients with gout during urate-lowering therapy (ULT).MethodsUltrasound (28 joints, 26 tendons) was performed in patients with microscopically verified gout initiating or increasing ULT and repeated after 3 and 6 months. Joints and tendons were evaluated by ultrasound for presence of the OMERACT structural gout lesions—double contour sign (DC), tophus, aggregates and erosion—scored binarily. A sum score was calculated at patient and lesion level. Changes at 3 and 6 months in patient sum scores and lesion scores at different locations were evaluated.Results50 patients (48 men), mean age 68.9 (range, 30–88) years, were included. Ultrasound showed a statistically significant decrease in DC and tophus sum scores from 0 months (3.16 and 2.68, respectively) to 3 months (2.33 and 2.43) and 6 months (1.34 and 1.83) (all p<0.002). The aggregate sum score only decreased significantly from 3 to 6 months (6.02 to 5.02, p=0.002), whereas erosion sum score remained almost unchanged. All four structural lesions were most commonly found in metatarsophalangeal (MTP) 1 joints (>1 lesions bilaterally), and furthermore MTP2–4 and knee joints were common sites especially for DC. Likewise, these regions were the locations with most pronounced changes in scores.ConclusionUltrasound assessment of the OMERACT structural gout lesions scored binarily seems to be a useful tool for monitoring urate depositions during ULT. Particularly DC and tophus showed sensitivity to change after only 3 months of treatment.