Results from a meta-analysis, published in Medicine, reported that musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) appeared to be a useful diagnostic tool in the clinical examination of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) disease activity.
Lead study author Lin Zhu, MS, posited that “further investigation is needed to explore whether extrinsic factors related to the FMT method, such as single versus multiple donor batches, fresh versus frozen products, aerobic versus anaerobic environment, type of stool preparation protocol, storage time, freeze–thaw cycles, pretreatment preparation such as bowel lavage and antibiotics, delivery form, and overall treatment strategy (dose and frequency), may influence the outcome of FMT in PsA.”
Studies that investigated musculoskeletal US for detecting sacroiliac joints in people with AS were collated from the following databases for analysis: PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Sinomed, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CINK), and Wanfang.
Nine studies encompassing 984 participants were included. Statistical analysis suggested an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.9259 (sensitivity 0.86, specificity 0.54) indicating that US had excellent accuracy in diagnosing AS. However, an AUC of 0.6441 (sensitivity 0.87, specificity 0.51) indicated that the US did not have good accuracy for diagnosing AS activity. Subgroup analyses revealed that the AUC of power Doppler US (PDUS) and color Doppler US (CDUS) was 0.5000 and 0.9274, respectively, indicating that CDUS was superior to PDUS.
Authors acknowledged the study was limited to the details of US operation, the small number of included articles, and regional bias.
The study concluded that US, and CDUS in particular, was a simple and feasible technique for diagnosing AS. While the accuracy of AS activity was inferior, researchers suggested that US “may be considered for routine use as part of the standard diagnostic tools in AS.”