Safety in the use of ultrasound in rheumatology during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Spanish Society of Rheumatology positioning paper./ Seguridad en el uso de la ecografía en reumatología durante la pandemia COVID-19. Documento de posicionamiento de la Sociedad Española de Reumatología
Reumatol. clin. (Barc.)
Ultrasound is a widely implemented imaging modality in rheumatology practice that implies a great interaction between patient and professional. The COVID-19 pandemic requires a change in our clinical practice, through the adoption of new strategies that allow comprehensive care for our patients, guaranteeing the safety of both patients and healthcare professionals. OBJETIVE: Our objective was to develop practical recommendations, agreed among a panel of experts, on the use and safety of rheumatological ultrasound during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We performed a narrative review of the available literature. Based on the literature review, we produced preliminary recommendations that were subsequently agreed among a panel of experts using the Delphi methodology with a 1-5 Likert scale. Agreement for each recommendation was considered if 75% of the panel members scored the item ≥4 on the Likert scale. RESULTS: 5 overarching principles and 28 recommendations were issued and agreed among the panel. Group consensus was achieved in 100% of items. CONCLUSIONS: The document provides useful information about preventive measures in the practice of ultrasound in rheumatology in times of a COVID-19 pandemic based on the experience and literature available to date.