Comparison Between Major Types of Arthritis Based on Diagnostic Ultrasonography

Homagni Sikha Roy1, *, #, Chunxia Cheng1, #, Qing Zhu1, Luo Yue1, Shiyan Yang1
1 Department of Ultrasound, Affiliated Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, SouthWest Medical University, China

© 2019 Roy et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Ultrasound, Affiliated Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, SouthWest Medical University, China; Tel: +008613452469257; E-mail:
#Equal contributions



Ultrasound has been widely used in clinical settings for the assessment of different types of Arthritis as well as in their management. This Review study assessed the diagnostic value of Ultrasonography in comparison with major types of Arthritis namely Osteoarthritis (OA), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Gouty Arthritis (GA), Pseudogout (Calcium Pyrophosphate Deposition Disease - CPPD), Psoriatic Arthritis (PA), Infectious Arthritis (IA) and Spondyloarthritis (SA).


Computerized literature search of PubMed was conducted from 1990 to present, for publications in English on diagnostic ultrasonography and major types of arthritis. A total of 206 publications were identified. Experimental and clinical studies that focused on the ultrasound features of the major types of Arthritis were accepted. A total of 52 out of the 206 publications, met our search criteria. Among these, 12 studies focused on OA, 7 on RA, 7 on GA, 5 on CPPD, 10 on PA, 4 on IA, and 7 on SA. From all the studies, some distinctive US features are reviewed for each of the major arthritis. Some of the features were unique and some overlapped.


Ultrasound may demonstrate the ability to differentiate between the major types of Arthritis on a basic level when combined with history and physical examination. This can prove to be beneficial in the early diagnosis of the major types of arthritis, but with few limitations. This review literature shows that Ultrasound can be very helpful in bed side analysis of the major types of arthritis as well as in differentiating between them, because this modality besides being non-invasive is also very cheap.

Keywords: Ultrasound, Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Pseudogout, Psoriatic arthritis, Infectious arthritis, Spondylo arhritis.