Diagnostic studies are useful in the initial evaluation of monoarticular arthritis

What diagnostic studies are useful in the initial evaluation of monoarticular arthritis?

• Radiograph of the joint: Although frequently normal, the radiograph may disclose important information. It may diagnose unsuspected fracture, osteonecrosis, osteoarthritis, or juxtaarticular bone tumor. The presence of chondrocalcinosis, a radiologic feature of calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition (CPPD) disease, increases suspicion for a pseudogout attack. Tumor, chronic fungal or mycobacterial infection, and other indolent destructive processes may be revealed. Contralateral joint radiograph for comparison may be useful, especially in children.

• Complete blood count: Leukocytosis supports the possibility of infection.

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