Point of care ultrasound in detecting haemophilia

Recurrent joint bleeding is the hallmark of haemophilia. Synovial hypertrophy observed with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is associated with an increased risk of future joint bleeding. The aim of the study of Foppen et al. (2018) was to investigate whether point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is an accurate alternative for MRI for the detection of early joint changes. They concluded that POCUS according to the HEAD-US protocol can accurately assess the presence/absence of synovial hypertrophy in joints of haemophilia patients. The positive and negative predictive values of POCUS for synovial hypertrophy were high at 94% and 97% respectively. In addition, POCUS may also be used to provide a general indication of the cartilage and bone status. As synovial hypertrophy is associated with bleeding, POCUS performed by trained clinicians may play a role in tailoring haemophilia treatment in the future.