Echogenicity of Palmar Dupuytren's Nodules Is Not a Predictor of Disease Progression in Terms of Increase in Nodule Size

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BACKGROUND: Ultrasound might enable us to measure Dupuytren's disease activity and predict disease progression. The aim of this study was to analyze whether echogenicity of Dupuytren's nodules can be used to predict progression in terms of increase in nodule size.

METHODS: Ultrasonographic assessment of a Dupuytren's nodule was performed in 91 patients participating in an existing longitudinal cohort study. Images were scored for echogenicity by two observers. Echogenicity of 89 nodules was matched to growth 1 year later using linear regression analysis. Sensitivity analysis was performed using data obtained 1 year before ultrasound. The interobserver and intraobserver reliability was calculated using the intraclass correlation coefficient.

RESULTS: Hypoechogenicity was not a predictor of growth 1 year later (beta = -0.019, p = 0.748). Sensitivity analysis looking at the year before ultrasonographic measurement showed that hypoechogenic nodules were more likely to have grown in the past year (beta = 0.173, p = 0.011). However, these data were influenced by nodules that developed in the year before ultrasound. The intraobserver reliability of echogenicity of Dupuytren's nodules was excellent (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.996; 95 percent CI, 0.993 to 0.998) and the interobserver reliability was fairly good but imprecise (intraclass correlation coefficient, 0.688; 95 percent CI, 0.329 to 0.977).

CONCLUSIONS: Hypoechogenicity is not a predictor of progression in terms of increase in nodule size measured by physical examination 1 year later. When using ultrasound to assess echogenicity of Dupuytren's nodules, the use of a single observer leads to more consistent results.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-820
Number of pages7
JournalPlastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2019

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