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Ultrasound of the Hand and Wrist

Sofka, Carolyn M. MD

doi: 10.1097/RUQ.0000000000000084
Review Article

There have been immense technical innovations and broadened clinical applications of ultrasound in the musculoskeletal system over the past 20 years. Specifically with regard to the hand and wrist, the advent of higher resolution transducers and postprocessing software applications have resulted in overall enhanced visualization of soft tissue structures (tendons/ligaments) as well as surface osseous lesions such as subclinical erosions in rheumatoid arthritis. Quantitative ultrasound, using either power Doppler or contrast-enhanced imaging, has become a central outcomes measure used to evaluate and document patient response to treatment in inflammatory arthropathies such as rheumatoid arthritis. This review will summarize the current state of clinical applications of ultrasound in the evaluation of the hand and wrist, with a summary of technical advances and specific applications in rheumatologic conditions.

This review was exempt from institutional review board approval.

Department of Radiology and Imaging, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY.

Received for publication January 2, 2014; accepted March 19, 2014.

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Carolyn M. Sofka, MD, Department of Radiology and Imaging, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021 (e-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins