ABSTRACT: We aimed to evaluate the utility of a simplified ultrasonography (US) scoring system, which is desired in daily clinical practice, among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) receiving biological/targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).A total of 289 Japanese patients with RA who were started on tumor necrosis factor inhibitors, abatacept, tocilizumab, or Janus kinase inhibitors between June 2013 and April 2019 at one of the 15 participating rheumatology centers were reviewed. We performed US assessment of articular synovia over 22 joints among bilateral wrist and finger joints, and the 22-joint (22j)-GS and 22-joint (22j)-PD scores were evaluated as an indicator of US activity using the sum of the GS and PD scores, respectively.The top 6 most affected joints included the bilateral wrist and second/third metacarpophalangeal joints. Therefore, 6-joint (6j)-GS and -PD scores were defined as the sum of the GS and PD scores from the 6 synovial sites over the aforementioned 6 joints, respectively. Although the 22j- or 6j-US scores were significantly correlated with DAS28-ESR or -CRP scores, the correlations were weak. Conversely, 6j-US scores were significantly and strongly correlated with 22j-US scores not only at baseline but also after therapy initiation.Using a multicenter cohort data, our results indicated that a simplified US scoring system could be adequately tolerated during any disease course among patients with RA receiving biological/targeted synthetic DMARDs.
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