Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Scanning Protocol Consensus Statements on Scanning Conventions and Documentation in the US

Karina D. Torralba, Kristal S. Choi, Lorena M. Salto, Robert Fairchild, Amy C. Cannella, Eugene Y. Kissin, Ralf Thiele, Amy Evangelisto, Midori J. Nishio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: European rheumatology and radiology-determined standards have largely driven the execution of ultrasound in rheumatology (RhUS). How this translates to American rheumatologic practice has not been examined. A rheumatology-driven consensus on documentation, scanning conventions, and tiered-mastery designation for anatomic region views was developed in 2011 and served as the framework for training and clinical research validation. The present study was undertaken to update this consensus to reflect current utilization of musculoskeletal RhUS evaluation in the US. Methods: A 3-round Delphi method study was conducted using a 96-item questionnaire sent via Qualtrics survey software to 101 respondents experienced in RhUS education and scholarship. The target participant number was 38. High agreement was defined as ≥85% agreement on each item. McNemar's chi-square test was used to analyze changes in agreement in the responses. Comments were reviewed for content analysis. Results: A total of 46 respondents completed all 3 rounds. Of documentation and scanning convention statements, 80% and 100%, respectively, reached high agreement. Comments reflected the need for rheumatology-defined and disease-specific complete scan and limited scan definitions, separate from radiology-defined definitions. Conclusion: Many scanning conventions from 2011 remain relevant in current practice. There is a need to determine rheumatology-defined descriptions for common procedural terminology codes for complete and limited scans that accurately reflect the current state of RhUS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1184
Number of pages8
JournalArthritis care & research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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