Preprint Brief Report Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Evidence for the Presence of Synovial Sheaths Surrounding the Extensor Tendons at the Metacarpophalangeal Joints

Version 1 : Received: 7 September 2021 / Approved: 7 September 2021 / Online: 7 September 2021 (11:49:31 CEST)

How to cite: Dakkak, Y.; Jansen, F.; Wisse, L.; Reijnierse, M.; van der Helm-van Mil, A.; de Ruiter, M. Evidence for the Presence of Synovial Sheaths Surrounding the Extensor Tendons at the Metacarpophalangeal Joints. Preprints 2021, 2021090122 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0122.v1). Dakkak, Y.; Jansen, F.; Wisse, L.; Reijnierse, M.; van der Helm-van Mil, A.; de Ruiter, M. Evidence for the Presence of Synovial Sheaths Surrounding the Extensor Tendons at the Metacarpophalangeal Joints. Preprints 2021, 2021090122 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202109.0122.v1).

Abstract

Background. MRI-detected inflammation around the metacarpophalangeal (MCP-)joints is prevalent in RA and poses a markedly increased risk of RA-development when present in arthralgia patients. Such inflammation is called ‘peritendinitis’, since anatomy literature reports no presence of a tenosynovial sheath at these tendons. However, the presence or absence of a synovial sheath at these extensor tendons has never been studied. Methods. A macroscopy and microscopy study of extensor-tendons at the MCP-joints of two embalmed human hands was performed. Routine histology was performed with Haematoxylin-Eosin staining. Results. We found evidence for the presence of synovial lining around extensor-tendons at MCP-joints. A delimited space surrounding the extensor digitorum tendon was observed, which was lined with an epithelium representing fibroblast-like synoviocytes. Conclusion. Contrast-enhancement around extensor tendons at MCP joints observed on MRI in RA represents tenosynovitis and thus inflammation of synovial tissue. Further studies with larger numbers of specimen are warranted to study anatomic variants. In addition, the molecular composition of the tenosynovium remains to be characterized.

Keywords

tendon sheath; metacarpophalangeal; rheumatoid arthritis; tenosynovitis; peritendinitis; anatomy

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