Ultrasound Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Study Purpose

The research objective is to demonstrate safety and efficacy of spleen ultrasound stimulation in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in a blinded and randomized controlled trial. Specific Aims include:

  • - Measure RA disease activity and functional metrics during and after a 2- week course of spleen-directed daily ultrasound treatments (within-arm and between-arm assessments); and - Monitor adverse events during and after daily ultrasound treatments.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years - 85 Years
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

1. Males and Females aged 18-85. 2. Must carry a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, as defined by the American College of Rheumatology in 2010: (https://www.rheumatology.org/Portals/0/Files/2010_revised_criteria_classification_ra. pdf). Classification as "definite RA" is based on the confirmed presence of synovitis in at least one joint, absence of an alternative diagnosis that better explains the synovitis, and achievement of a total score of 6 or greater (of a possible 10) from the individual scores in 4 domains: number and site of involved joints (score range 0-5), serologic abnormality (score range 0-3), elevated acute-phase response (score range 0-1), and symptom duration (2 levels; range 0-1). 3. Exhibiting symptoms or signs of inadequate disease control according to one of 2 measures: Modified HAQ score of greater than 0.3 and DAS28-CRP greater than 3.2 (http://www.phusewiki.org/wiki/index.php?title=Disease_Activity_Score_-_CRP_(DAS-CRP). 4. Participants should have home access to broadband internet, such that online video conversations can occur with study personnel via study-provided personal digital assistive devices.

Exclusion Criteria:

1. Active bacterial or viral infection. 2. Pregnant women or presence of active malignancy. 3. Inability to perform minimal daily self-cares associated with feeding/dressing, according to HAQ.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

University of Minnesota
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Erik Peterson, MD PHD
Principal Investigator Affiliation University of Minnesota
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arms & Interventions


Experimental: Study device treatment

Transcutaneous non-invasive ultrasound will be administered to the spleen for 30 minutes every day for 2 weeks (14 days total) via a portable device.

Sham Comparator: Sham device treatment

Sham treatment will be administered to the spleen for 30 minutes every day for 2 weeks (14 days total) via a portable device.


Device: - Study device treatment

The ultrasound portable device comprises a tabletop control unit and a transducer connected to the control unit by a cord.

Device: - Sham device treatment

A similar device as used for the study device treatment will be used, except that no energy will be delivered to the spleen.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota




University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55455

Site Contact

Julie Scherber

[email protected]