Ultrasonographic assessment of local steroid injection in Tietze's syndrome.Br J Rheumatol 1997; 36(5):547-50BJ
The purpose of this study was to investigate the value of ultrasonographic examination in the diagnosis of Tietze's syndrome and assessment of the changes in costal cartilage following local steroid injection. Nine patients with Tietze's syndrome and 20 normal subjects were studied consecutively. Ultrasound examination was performed using a Sonoline SL Siemens Machine with a linear 5 MHz small parts transducer and ATL Apogee 800 with a 10 MHz linear array transducer. The affected costochondral joint was injected with a combination of 15 mg of triamcinolone hexacetonide and 1 ml of 2% lidocaine. Ultrasound examination was performed following the clinical evaluation and repeated immediately after the injection, then 1 and 4 weeks later. Abnormal echo appearance was detected as an inhomogeneous increase in the echogenicity with intense broad posterior acoustic shadow. Hypoechogenicity and a decrease in the size of costal cartilage were observed 1 week after local steroid injection with absence of the posterior acoustic shadowing. Ultrasonographic examination of costal cartilage is easy and quick to perform. We believe that ultrasound should be the screening procedure of choice for Tietze's syndrome. Local steroid injection proved to be clinically safe and effective in the treatment of patients with Tietze's syndrome.