Ultrasound assessment of new onset bilateral painful shoulder in patients with polymyalgia rheumatica and rheumatoid arthritis

Clinical Rheumatology, 06/12/2012

Ruta S et al. – Ultrasound (US)–detected periarticular inflammatory involvement more frequently in polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) both unilaterally and bilaterally and intra–articular inflammatory involvement was commonly in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but only unilaterally.


  • Thirty patients with PMR, 30 with RA, and 60 controls were included for a total of 60 shoulders per group.


  • Unilateral subacromial–subdeltoid (SAD) bursitis and long head biceps (LHB) tenosynovitis were significantly more frequent in patients with PMR when compared to those with RA (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.01, respectively) and controls (p < 0.001 and p < 0.01, respectively).
  • Unilateral gleno–humeral (GH) synovitis was more common in RA than in PMR and controls (p < 0.05 and p < 0.01, respectively).
  • Bilateral SAD bursitis was significantly more frequent in patients with PMR than in those with RA (p < 0.01) as was bilateral LHB tenosynovitis (p < 0.01).
  • No significant differences were found in bilateral GH synovitis.

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