High-resolution ultrasound confirms reduced synovial hyperplasia following rituximab treatment in rheumatoid arthritis

Ziswiler, Hans-Rudolf; Aeberli, Daniel; Villiger, Peter M; Möller, Burkhard (2009). High-resolution ultrasound confirms reduced synovial hyperplasia following rituximab treatment in rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology, 48(8), pp. 939-43. Oxford: Oxford University Press 10.1093/rheumatology/kep139

kep139.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (214kB) | Preview

OBJECTIVE: To assess the response of RA patients to rituximab (RTX) treatment using a sensitive imaging technique for synovitis. METHODS: Twenty-three RA patients were treated with two 1000-mg infusions of the B-cell depleting antibody, RTX, in an observational protocol. Clinical response was assessed by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) response criteria. High-resolution grey-scale and colour-coded power Doppler (PD) ultrasonography was performed at baseline and 6 months after RTX. The second to fifth MCP and PIP joints were bilaterally examined with joints in a neutral 0 position from a palmar view and scored from 0 to 3. RESULTS: Median disease activity score (DAS28) improved from 5.03 to 3.56 (P = 0.001), which corresponded to a EULAR moderate response in 11 of 23 patients and a EULAR good response in another 6 patients. Improved control of disease activity by RTX was also indicated by tapering of median daily corticosteroid doses from 10 to 5 mg, without flare ups. Mean grey-scale scores correlated with the swollen joint count at baseline (r = 0.484, P = 0.022) and month 6 (r = 0.519, P = 0.011). Mean grey-scale scores improved upon RTX from a 0.90 median (range 0.13-1.87) to 0.75 (range 0.19-1.50, P = 0.023). Frequency of PD positive joints was low (6.1%) at baseline and did not significantly change following RTX treatment. CONCLUSIONS: High-resolution grey-scale ultrasonography (US) examination confirmed reduced synovial hyperplasia, but the applied PD method displayed no significant changes. Therefore, only grey-scale US is recommended in follow-up examinations after RTX treatment.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Rheumatology, Clinical Immunology and Allergology

UniBE Contributor:

Ziswiler, Hans Rudolf; Aeberli, Daniel; Villiger, Peter and Möller, Burkhard




Oxford University Press




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:11

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 09:14

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:





https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/31406 (FactScience: 195913)

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback