Table 2

Studies comparing different imaging techniques or imaging versus palpation guidance at small joints and periarticular structures (PICO1)

Year authorSTUDY
ImagingComparatorDiseaseNo Imaging/
Intervention (COMPOUND)SITEFAVORS imaging*FAVORS comparator*No difference between imaging and comparator*RoB†
US vs palpation guidance
Retrospective cohort studyUSPalpation guidanceAC joint OA50/50injection
(lidocaine, triamcinolone, contrast material)
AC joint1 x Accuracy (BSL)
3 x Safety (3,6 m)
1 x Safety (BSL,1,3,6m)Embedded Image
RCTUSPalpation guidancetrigger finger41/38injection
finger flexor tendon sheath1 x Efficacy (n.a.)2 x Safety (BSL,12,24w)
2 x Efficacy (BSL,12,24w)
Embedded Image
RCTUSPalpation guidancetrigger finger20, 23 fingers
/21, 25 fingers
percutaneous pulley release
A1 pulley1 x Safety (2,4 w)1 x Safety (n.a.)
2 x Efficacy (BSL, n.a.)
Embedded Image
RCTUSPalpation guidancetrigger finger35/35injection
A1 pulley2 x Safety (BSL,6w,6m)
2 x Efficacy (BSL,6w,6m)
Embedded Image
RCTUSPalpation guidancetrigger finger (A1 pulley)20/21cutting
(trigger finger release through needle knife)
A1 pulley1 x Cost/Time (BSL)1 x Efficacy (BSL)Embedded Image
US vs fluoroscopy vs palpation guidance
2019 Gershkovich62Retrospective cohort studyUSFluo., Palpation guidanceThumb CMC arthritis8099/2533/51701Injection
CMC joint of the thumb1 x Efficacy for palpation guidance (n.a.)
1 x Efficacy for Fluo. (n.a.)
1 x Cost/Time (n.a.)
1 x Efficacy (n.a.)Embedded Image
US/CT vs palpation guidance
Restrospective cross-sectional studyUS or CTPalpation guidanceJIA22/23injection
TMJ2 x Cost/Time (BSL)1 x Safety (n.a.)
2 x Efficacy (n.a.)
Embedded Image
  • *These columns indicate the number of outcomes studied and their categories (eg, 6 × efficacy indicates that six different outcomes related to the efficacy category were studied), with the respective time point(s) when the outcome was determined (parenthesis). The term ‘BSL’ refers to differences concerning the outcomes at BSL. A detailed description of studies and outcomes can be found in supplement.

  • †A green, yellow, red and black circle indicate low, moderate, high and critical risk of bias, respectively. In case multiple circles are depicted, certain outcomes within one study had different risk of bias.

  • AC, acromioclavicular joint; BSL, baseline; CMC, carpometacarpal; JIA, juvenile idiopathic arthritis; n.a., not applicable; OA, osteoarthritis; PICO, Population, Intervention, Comparator, Outcome; RCT, randomised controlled trial; RoB, Risk of Bias; TMJ, temporomandibular joint; US, ultrasound.;