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Table 3 Comparison between patients with significant increase or decrease in skin thickness measured by ultrasound at different sites in relation to other assessments of skin fibrosis

From: High frequency ultrasound of skin involvement in systemic sclerosis – a follow-up study

Site of US exam ΔThickness, direction of change (n) mRSS, baseline (median) p ΔmRSS (median) p COMP baseline (median) p ΔCOMP (median) p HAMIS baseline (median) p ΔHAMIS p
Finger Increase, (18) 9.5 0.250 1.0 0.095 11.7 0.497 1.0 0.150 4.0 0.106 1.5 0.374
Decrease, (27) 11.0 −1.0 12.3 −1.0 7.5 −1.0
Hand Increase, (21) 10.0 0.231 0.0 0.016 12.0 0.750 0.0 0.203 5.0 0.417 0.0 0.540
Decrease, (27) 10.0 −3.0 12.0 −1.6 7.5 −1.0
Forearm Increase, (18) 11.0 0.991 1.5 0.051 15.0 0.467 0.0 0.089 7.0 0.484 4.0 <0.001
Decrease, (30) 10.5 −1.0 12.0 −1.0 5.0 −1.0
Leg Increase, (18) 9.5 0.423 2.0 0.007 15.0 0.029 −0.5 0.986 5.0 0.583 3.0 0.180
Decrease, (29) 10.0 −1.0 11.7 −0.5 7.0 0.0
Chest Increase, (19) 11 0.435 0.5 0.287 15.0 0.029 −1.0 0.940 7.0 0.796 0.0 0.444
Decrease, (41) 10 0.0 11.7 0.0 6.0 0.0
Total Increase, (21) 11 0.802 1 0.019 12.7 0.363 0.0 0.217 5.5 0.344 5.0 0.002
Decrease, (37) 10 −2 12.0 −1.6 8.0 −1.5
  1. Increase in hand skin thickness was associated with absence of improved mRSS. Increase in forearm skin thickness was associated with worsening hand function. Increase in skin thickness on leg and chest was preceded by high levels of the fibrosis biomarker COMP
  2. US ultrasound, mRSS modified Rodnan skin score, COMP cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, HAMIS hand mobility in scleroderma test
  3. Note to reviewer: The numbers describing COMP baseline with Δthickness on leg and chest are by chance identical, this has been controlled