Diagnosis of early-stage rheumatoid arthritis: usefulness of unenhanced and gadolinium-enhanced MR images at 3 T.

Clinical imaging

PubMedID: 23465990

Aoki T, Yamashita Y, Saito K, Tanaka Y, Korogi Y. Diagnosis of early-stage rheumatoid arthritis: usefulness of unenhanced and gadolinium-enhanced MR images at 3 T. Clin Imaging. 2013;37(2):348-53.
Forty-one consecutive unclassified arthritis patients with polyarthralgia including wrist joint were evaluated with 3-T MRI as possible early-stage rheumatoid arthritis (RA). After prospective follow-up, 21 of 41 patients fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria. Synovitis was detected in all 21 RA patients (sensitivity=100%) with postcontrast MRI and in 14 patients (67%) with unenhanced MRI when none of them fulfilled ACR diagnostic criteria. Fat-suppressed intermediate-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE) image showed high detection rate of synovitis and bone erosion, whereas FIESTA image clearly delineated joint fluid and bone trabeculae. MRI at 3 T is a potentially powerful tool for discriminating and managing early-stage RA patients.