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1.  The FAt Spondyloarthritis Spine Score (FASSS): development and validation of a new scoring method for the evaluation of fat lesions in the spine of patients with axial spondyloarthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R216.
Introduction
Studies have shown that fat lesions follow resolution of inflammation in the spine of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (SpA). Fat lesions at vertebral corners have also been shown to predict development of new syndesmophytes. Therefore, scoring of fat lesions in the spine may constitute both an important measure of treatment efficacy as well as a surrogate marker for new bone formation. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a new scoring method for fat lesions in the spine, the Fat SpA Spine Score (FASSS), which in contrast to the existing scoring method addresses the localization and phenotypic diversity of fat lesions in patients with axial SpA.
Methods
Fat lesions at pre-specified anatomical locations at each vertebral endplate (C2 lower-S1 upper) were assessed dichotomously (present/absent) on spine MRIs. Two readers independently evaluated MRIs obtained at two time points for 58 patients (Exercise 1), followed by optimization of scoring methodology and reader calibration. Thereafter, the same readers read 135 pairs of MRI scans (Exercise 2; including the 58 pairs from exercise 1 randomly mixed with 77 new pairs).
Results
In Exercise 2, the mean (SD) baseline FASSS score for the two readers was 22.5(29.6) and 21.1(28.0), respectively, and the FASSS change score was 4.2(10.6) and 6.0(12.2). Inter-reader reliability assessed as intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) for status and change scores were excellent (0.96 (95% CI (0.94 to 0.97)) and very good (0.86 (0.80 to 0.90)), respectively. The smallest detectable change (SDC) was 3.7 for the 135 patients. Good reliability of change scores was also observed for MRI scans conducted one year apart (ICC 0.74 (95% CI 0.44 to 0.89) and SDC 4.5). For the 58 MRI-pairs assessed in both exercises, inter-reader reproducibility for the total FASSS status score improved from very good (ICCs: 0.89 (95% CI: 0.81 to 0.93) in exercise 1 to excellent in exercise 2 (0.96 (0.93 to 0.98)), and improved substantially for the total change score (from 0.67 (0.51 to 0.80) to 0.83 (0.73 to 0.90).
Conclusions
FASSS meets essential validation criteria for quantification of a common structural abnormality in clinical trials of axial spondyloarthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar4411
PMCID: PMC3979081  PMID: 24330677
2.  Can erosions on MRI of the sacroiliac joints be reliably detected in patients with ankylosing spondylitis? - A cross-sectional study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(3):R124.
Introduction
Erosions of the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) on pelvic radiographs of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) are an important feature of the modified New York classification criteria. However, radiographic SIJ erosions are often difficult to identify. Recent studies have shown that erosions can be detected also on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the SIJ early in the disease course before they can be seen on radiography. The goals of this study were to assess the reproducibility of erosion and related features, namely, extended erosion (EE) and backfill (BF) of excavated erosion, in the SIJ using a standardized MRI methodology.
Methods
Four readers independently assessed T1-weighted and short tau inversion recovery sequence (STIR) images of the SIJ from 30 AS patients and 30 controls (15 patients with non-specific back pain and 15 healthy volunteers) ≤45 years old. Erosions, EE, and BF were recorded according to standardized definitions. Reproducibility was assessed by percentage concordance among six possible reader pairs, kappa statistics (erosion as binary variable) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) (erosion as sum score) for all readers jointly.
Results
SIJ erosions were detected in all AS patients and six controls by ≥2 readers. The median number of SIJ quadrants affected by erosion recorded by four readers in 30 AS patients was 8.6 in the iliac and 2.1 in the sacral joint portion (P < 0.0001). For all 60 subjects and for all four readers, the kappa value for erosion was 0.72, 0.73 for EE, and 0.63 for BF. ICC for erosion was 0.79, 0.72 for EE, and 0.55 for BF, respectively. For comparison, the kappa and ICC values for bone marrow edema were 0.61 and 0.93, respectively.
Conclusions
Erosions can be detected on MRI to a comparable degree of reliability as bone marrow edema despite the significant heterogeneity of their appearance on MRI.
doi:10.1186/ar3854
PMCID: PMC3446505  PMID: 22626458
3.  Imaging of ankylosing spondylitis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(Suppl 2):A18.
doi:10.1186/ar3725
PMCID: PMC3353586
5.  CRP genotype and haplotype associations with serum C-reactive protein level and DAS28 in untreated early rheumatoid arthritis patients 
Introduction
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CRP gene are implicated in the regulation of the constitutional C-reactive protein (CRP) expression and its response to proinflammatory stimuli. Previous reports suggest that these effects may have an impact on clinical decision-making tools based on CRP, such as the Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28). We aimed to investigate the possible association between seven CRP SNPs, their haplotypes and the serum levels of CRP, as well as DAS28 scores, in two cohorts of untreated active early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients followed during their initial treatment.
Methods
Overall, 315 patients with RA from two randomized controlled trials (the CIMESTRA and OPERA trials) who were naïve to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and steroids with disease durations less than 6 months were included. Seven CRP SNPs were investigated: rs11265257, rs1130864, rs1205, rs1800947, rs2808632, rs3093077 and rs876538. The genotype and haplotype associations with CRP and DAS28 levels were evaluated using linear regression analysis adjusted for age, sex and treatment.
Results
The minor allele of rs1205 C > T was associated with decreased CRP levels at baseline (P = 0.03), with the TT genotype having a 50% reduction in CRP from 16.7 to 8.4 mg/L (P = 0.005) compared to homozygosity of the major allele, but no association was observed at year 1 (P = 0.38). The common H2 haplotype, characterized by the T allele of rs1205, was associated with a 26% reduction in CRP at baseline (P = 0.043), although no effect was observed at year 1 (P = 0.466). No other SNP or haplotype was associated with CRP at baseline or at year 1 (P ≥0.09). We observed no associations between SNPs or haplotypes and DAS28 scores at baseline or at year 1 (P ≥0.10).
Conclusion
CRP genotype and haplotype were only marginally associated with serum CRP levels and had no association with the DAS28 score. This study shows that DAS28, the core parameter for inflammatory activity in RA, can be used for clinical decision-making without adjustment for CRP gene variants.
Trial registration
The OPERA study is registered at Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00660647). The CIMESTRA study is not listed in a clinical trials registry, because patients were included between October 1999 and October 2002.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0475-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0475-3
PMCID: PMC4247621  PMID: 25359432
6.  Soluble OX40L is associated with presence of autoantibodies in early rheumatoid arthritis 
Introduction
OX40 and its ligand OX40L are key components in the generation of adaptive memory response and provide necessary co-stimulatory signals for activated effector T cells. Here we investigate the dual roles of the membrane and soluble (s) forms of OX40 and OX40L in plasma and synovial fluid and their association with autoantibodies and disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods
Soluble OX40 and sOX40L plasma levels were measured in treatment-naïve early RA patients (eRA) at baseline and after 3, 6, and 12 months of treatment with methotrexate and adalimumab (n = 39) and with methotrexate alone (n = 37). Adalimumab was discontinued after the first year, and patients were followed for additional 12 months. For comparison, sOX40 and sOX40L were measured in patients with chronic RA (cRA, n = 15) and healthy volunteers (HV, n = 34). Membrane-bound OX40 and OX40L expression on T cells, B cells and monocytes were quantified.
Results
Soluble OX40 plasma levels of eRA patients were not different at the time of treatment initiation, but were significantly higher after 12 months of treatment, compared with HV or cRA patients. Soluble OX40L was significantly elevated throughout the first 12 months of treatment compared with HVs and patients with cRA. Adalimumab treatment did not influence sOX40 or sOX40L plasma levels. At baseline, sOX40L levels were strongly associated with the presence of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) (P <0.001) and IgM-RF (P <0.0001). The sOX40/sOX40L ratio was decreased in eRA, and a low ratio at the time of adalimumab discontinuation was associated with increased DAS28CRP and risk of flare the following year. T cells in the synovial fluid had the highest expression of OX40, while monocytes and B cells were the main expressers of OX40L in the joint.
Conclusions
Plasma levels of sOX40 and sOX40L were increased in eRA and sOX40L was correlated with ACPA and IgM-RF. Further, expression of membrane-bound OX40 and OX40L was increased in eRA and cRA. Combined, these findings could reflect that increased activity in the OX40 systems facilitate to drive disease activity and autoantibody production in RA.
Trial registration
Clincaltrials.gov NCT00660647, 10 April 2008.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0474-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0474-4
PMCID: PMC4230735  PMID: 25359291
7.  CXCL13 predicts disease activity in early rheumatoid arthritis and could be an indicator of the therapeutic ‘window of opportunity’ 
Introduction
A key phenomenon in rheumatoid arthritis is the formation of lymphoid follicles in the inflamed synovial membrane. C-X-C motif chemokine 13 (CXCL13) is central in this process as it attracts C-X-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CXCR5)-expressing B cells and T follicular helper cells to the follicle. We here examine the role of CXCL13 and its association with disease in patients with treatment-naïve early rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods
Plasma samples from patients in the OPERA trial were examined for CXCL13 at treatment initiation and after 6 months of treatment with either methotrexate plus placebo (DMARD) (n = 37) or methotrexate plus adalimumab (DMARD + ADA) (n = 39). Treatment outcome was evaluated after 1 and 2 years. CXCL13 plasma levels in healthy volunteers (n = 38) were also examined.
Results
Baseline CXCL13 plasma levels were increased in early rheumatoid arthritis patients in comparison with healthy volunteers. Also, plasma CXCL13 correlated positively with disease activity parameters; swollen joint count 28 (rho = 0.34) and 40 (rho = 0.39), visual analog score (rho = 0.38) and simplified disease activity index (rho = 0.25) (all P <0.05). CXCL13 levels decreased a significantly twofold more in the DMARD + ADA group than in the DMARD group. Baseline CXCL13 plasma levels in the DMARD group correlated inversely with disease activity parameters; disease activity score in 28 joints, four variables, C-reactive protein based (DAS28CRP) (rho = 0.58, P <0.05) at 12 months. High baseline CXCL13 was associated with remission (DAS28CRP less than 2.6) after 2 years.
Conclusions
In treatment-naïve early rheumatoid arthritis patients, plasma CXCL13 levels were associated with joint inflammation. Furthermore, patients with high baseline plasma CXCL13 levels had an improved chance of remission after 2 years. We propose that high CXCL13 concentrations indicate recent onset of inflammation that may respond better to early aggressive treatment. Thus, high levels of CXCL13 could reflect the ‘the window of opportunity’ for optimal treatment effect.
Trial registration
Clinicaltrial.gov NCT00660647. Registered 10 April 2008
doi:10.1186/s13075-014-0434-z
PMCID: PMC4201737  PMID: 25249397
8.  Circulating surfactant protein -D is low and correlates negatively with systemic inflammation in early, untreated rheumatoid arthritis 
Introduction
Surfactant protein D (SP-D) is a collectin with immuno-regulatory functions, which may depend on oligomerization. Anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties have been attributed to multimeric SP-D variants, while trimeric subunits per se have been suggested to enhance inflammation. Previously, we reported low circulating SP-D in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and the present investigation aims to extend these data by serial SP-D serum measurements, studies on synovial fluid, SP-D size distribution and genotyping in patients with early RA.
Methods
One-hundred-and-sixty disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) naïve RA patients with disease duration less than six months were studied prospectively for four years (CIMESTRA (Ciclosporine, Methotrexate, Steroid in RA) trial) including disease activity measures (C-reactive protein, joint counts and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) score), autoantibodies, x-ray findings and SP-D. SP-D was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and molecular size distribution was assessed by gel filtration chromatography. Further, SP-D Met11Thr single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis was performed.
Results
Serum SP-D was significantly lower in RA patients at baseline compared with healthy controls (P < 0.001). SP-D increased slightly during follow-up (P < 0.001), but was still subnormal at four years after adjustment for confounders (P < 0.001). SP-D in synovial fluid was up to 2.5-fold lower than in serum. While multimeric variants were detected in serum, SP-D in synovial fluid comprised trimeric subunits only. There were no significant associations between genotype distribution and SP-D. Baseline SP-D was inversely associated to CRP and HAQ score. A similar relationship was observed regarding temporal changes in SP-D and CRP (zero to four years). SP-D was not associated to x-ray findings.
Conclusions
This study confirms that circulating SP-D is persistently subnormal in early and untreated RA despite a favourable therapeutic response obtained during four years of follow-up. SP-D correlated negatively to disease activity measures, but was not correlated with x-ray progression or SP-D genotype. These observations suggest that SP-D is implicated in RA pathogenesis at the protein level. The exclusive presence of trimeric SP-D in affected joints may contribute to the maintenance of joint inflammation.
Trial registration
(j.nr NCT00209859).
doi:10.1186/ar2948
PMCID: PMC2888186  PMID: 20211020
9.  MRI bone oedema scores are higher in the arthritis mutilans form of psoriatic arthritis and correlate with high radiographic scores for joint damage 
Introduction
The aim of this study was to investigate the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of bone disease in the arthritis mutilans (AM) form of psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Methods
Twenty-eight patients with erosive PsA were enrolled (median disease duration of 14 years). Using x-rays of both hands and feet, 11 patients were classified as AM and 17 as non-AM (erosive psoriatic arthritis without bone lysis)by two observers. MRI scans (1.5T) of the dominant hand (wrist and fingers scanned separately) were obtained using standard contrast-enhanced T1-weighted and fat-saturated T2-weighted sequences. Scans were scored separately by two readers for bone erosion, oedema and proliferation using a PsA MRI scoring system. X-rays were scored for erosions and joint space narrowing.
Results
On MRI, 1013 bones were scored by both readers. Reliability for scoring erosions and bone oedema was high (intraclass correlation coefficients = 0.80 and 0.77 respectively) but only fair for bone proliferation (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.42). MRI erosion scores were higher in AM patients (53.0 versus 15.0, p = 0.004) as were bone oedema and proliferation scores (14.7 versus 10.0, p = 0.056 and 3.6 versus 0.7, p = 0.003 respectively). MRI bone oedema scores correlated with MRI erosion scores and X-ray erosion and joint space narrowing scores (r = 0.65, p = 0.0002 for all) but not the disease activity score 28-C reactive protein (DAS28CRP) or pain scores.
Conclusions
In this patient group with PsA, MRI bone oedema, erosion and proliferation were all more severe in the AM-form. Bone oedema scores did not correlate with disease activity measures but were closely associated with X-ray joint damage scores. These results suggest that MRI bone oedema may be a pre-erosive feature and that bone damage may not be coupled with joint inflammation in PsA.
doi:10.1186/ar2586
PMCID: PMC2688232  PMID: 19126234
10.  Detection of bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis wrist joints with magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and radiography 
Background
The objectives of the present study were, with multidetector computed tomography (CT) as the reference method, to determine the performance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and radiography for the detection of bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis wrist bones, and to test whether measuring volumes of erosions on CT and MRI is reproducible and correlated to semiquantitative assessments (scores) of erosions on CT, MRI and radiography.
Methods
Seventeen patients with rheumatoid arthritis and four healthy control individuals underwent CT, MRI and radiography of one wrist, performed on the same day. CT was performed on a Philips Mx8000IDT unit (voxel size 0.4 mm × 0.4 mm × 1 mm) and MRI was performed on a Philips Panorama 0.6T unit (voxel size 0.4 mm × 0.4 mm × 0.4 mm). Images were evaluated separately for erosions in all wrist bones and were scored according to the principles of the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Rheumatoid Arthritis MRI Scoring System (CT and MRI) and the Sharp/van der Heijde (radiographs) scoring methods. Measurements of erosion volumes of all erosions were performed twice with a 1-week interval.
Results
With CT as the reference method, the overall sensitivity, specificity and accuracy (concordance) of MRI for detecting erosions were 61%, 93% and 77%, respectively, while the respective values were 24%, 99% and 63% for radiography. The intramodality agreements when measuring erosion volumes were high for both CT and MRI (Spearman correlation coefficients 0.92 and 0.90 (both P < 0.01), respectively). Correlations between volumes and scores of individual erosions were 0.96 for CT and 0.99 for MRI, while they were 0.83 (CT) and 0.80 (MRI) for persons' total erosion volume and total score (all P < 0.01).
Conclusion
With CT as the reference method, MRI showed moderate sensitivity and good specificity and accuracy for detection of erosions in rheumatoid arthritis and healthy wrist bones, while radiography showed very low sensitivity. The tested volumetric method was highly reproducible and correlated to scores of erosions.
doi:10.1186/ar2378
PMCID: PMC2374457  PMID: 18307764
11.  Ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, radiography, and clinical assessment of inflammatory and destructive changes in fingers and toes of patients with psoriatic arthritis 
The aim of the present study was to assess ultrasonography (US) for the detection of inflammatory and destructive changes in finger and toe joints, tendons, and entheses in patients with psoriasis-associated arthritis (PsA) by comparison with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), projection radiography (x-ray), and clinical findings. Fifteen patients with PsA, 5 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 5 healthy control persons were examined by means of US, contrast-enhanced MRI, x-ray, and clinical assessment. Each joint of the 2nd–5th finger (metacarpophalangeal joints, proximal interphalangeal [PIP] joints, and distal interphalangeal [DIP] joints) and 1st–5th metatarsophalangeal joints of both hands and feet were assessed with US for the presence of synovitis, bone erosions, bone proliferations, and capsular/extracapsular power Doppler signal (only in the PIP joints). The 2nd–5th flexor and extensor tendons of the fingers were assessed for the presence of insertional changes and tenosynovitis. One hand was assessed by means of MRI for the aforementioned changes. X-rays of both hands and feet were assessed for bone erosions and proliferations. US was repeated in 8 persons by another ultrasonographer. US and MRI were more sensitive to inflammatory and destructive changes than x-ray and clinical examination, and US showed a good interobserver agreement for bone changes (median 96% absolute agreement) and lower interobserver agreement for inflammatory changes (median 92% absolute agreement). A high absolute agreement (85% to 100%) for all destructive changes and a more moderate absolute agreement (73% to 100%) for the inflammatory pathologies were found between US and MRI. US detected a higher frequency of DIP joint changes in the PsA patients compared with RA patients. In particular, bone changes were found exclusively in PsA DIP joints. Furthermore, bone proliferations were more common and tenosynovitis was less frequent in PsA than RA. For other pathologies, no disease-specific pattern was observed. US and MRI have major potential for improved examination of joints, tendons, and entheses in fingers and toes of patients with PsA.
doi:10.1186/ar2327
PMCID: PMC2246238  PMID: 18001463
12.  Are bone erosions detected by magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasonography true erosions? A comparison with computed tomography in rheumatoid arthritis metacarpophalangeal joints 
The objective of the study was, with multidetector computed tomography (CT) as the reference method, to determine whether bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints detected with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography (US), but not with radiography, represent true erosive changes. We included 17 RA patients with at least one, previously detected, radiographically invisible MCP joint MRI erosion, and four healthy control individuals. They all underwent CT, MRI, US and radiography of the 2nd to 5th MCP joints of one hand on the same day. Each imaging modality was evaluated for the presence of bone erosions in each MCP joint quadrant. In total, 336 quadrants were examined. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy, respectively, for detecting bone erosions (with CT as the reference method) were 19%, 100% and 81% for radiography; 68%, 96% and 89% for MRI; and 42%, 91% and 80% for US. When the 16 quadrants with radiographic erosions were excluded from the analysis, similar values for MRI (65%, 96% and 90%) and US (30%, 92% and 80%) were obtained. CT and MRI detected at least one erosion in all patients but none in control individuals. US detected at least one erosion in 15 patients, however, erosion-like changes were seen on US in all control individuals. Nine patients had no erosions on radiography. In conclusion, with CT as the reference method, MRI and US exhibited high specificities (96% and 91%, respectively) in detecting bone erosions in RA MCP joints, even in the radiographically non-erosive joints (96% and 92%). The moderate sensitivities indicate that even more erosions than are seen on MRI and, particularly, US are present. Radiography exhibited high specificity (100%) but low sensitivity (19%). The present study strongly indicates that bone erosions, detected with MRI and US in RA patients, represent a loss of calcified tissue with cortical destruction, and therefore can be considered true bone erosions.
doi:10.1186/ar1995
PMCID: PMC1779369  PMID: 16848914
13.  Magnetic resonance imaging in psoriatic arthritis: a review of the literature 
Psoriatic arthritis is a diverse condition that may be characterized by peripheral inflammatory arthritis, axial involvement, dactylitis and enthesitis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allows visualization of soft tissue, articular and entheseal lesions, and provides a unique picture of the disease process that cannot be gained using other imaging modalities. This review focuses on the literature on MRI in psoriatic arthritis published from 1996 to July 2005. The MRI features discussed include synovitis, tendonitis, dactylitis, bone oedema, bone erosions, soft tissue oedema, spondylitis/sacroiliitis and subclinical arthropathy. Comparisons have been drawn with the more extensive literature describing the MRI features of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
doi:10.1186/ar1934
PMCID: PMC1526607  PMID: 16569257
14.  Conventional radiography requires a MRI-estimated bone volume loss of 20% to 30% to allow certain detection of bone erosions in rheumatoid arthritis metacarpophalangeal joints 
The aim of this study was to demonstrate the ability of conventional radiography to detect bone erosions of different sizes in metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the standard reference. A 0.2 T Esaote dedicated extremity MRI unit was used to obtain axial and coronal T1-weighted gradient echo images of the dominant 2nd to 5th MCP joints of 69 RA patients. MR images were obtained and evaluated for bone erosions according to the OMERACT recommendations. Conventional radiographs of the 2nd to 5th MCP joints were obtained in posterior-anterior projection and evaluated for bone erosions. The MRI and radiography readers were blinded to each other's assessments. Grade 1 MRI erosions (1% to 10% of bone volume eroded) were detected by radiography in 20%, 4%, 7% and 13% in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th MCP joint, respectively. Corresponding results for grade 2 erosions (11% to 20% of bone volume eroded) were 42%, 10%, 60% and 24%, and for grade 3 erosions (21% to 30% of bone volume eroded) 75%, 67%, 75% and 100%. All grade 4 (and above) erosions were detected on radiographs. Conventional radiography required a MRI-estimated bone erosion volume of 20% to 30% to allow a certain detection, indicating that MRI is a better method for detection and grading of minor erosive changes in RA MCP joints.
doi:10.1186/ar1919
PMCID: PMC1526620  PMID: 16542505
15.  Ultrasonography of the metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints in rheumatoid arthritis: a comparison with magnetic resonance imaging, conventional radiography and clinical examination 
Signs of inflammation and destruction in the finger joints are the principal features of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There are few studies assessing the sensitivity and specificity of ultrasonography in detecting these signs. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether ultrasonography can provide information on signs of inflammation and destruction in RA finger joints that are not available with conventional radiography and clinical examination, and comparable to the information provided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The second to fifth metacarpophalangeal and proximal interphalangeal joints of 40 RA patients and 20 control persons were assessed with ultrasonography, clinical examination, radiography and MRI. With MRI as the reference method, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of ultrasonography in detecting bone erosions in the finger joints were 0.59, 0.98 and 0.96, respectively; they were 0.42, 0.99 and 0.95 for radiography. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of ultrasonography, with signs of inflammation on T1-weighted MRI sequences as the reference method, were 0.70, 0.78 and 0.76, respectively; they were 0.40, 0.85 and 0.72 for the clinical examination. With MRI as the reference method, ultrasonography had higher sensitivity and accuracy in detecting signs of inflammation and destruction in RA finger joints than did clinical and radiographic examinations, without loss of specificity. This study shows that ultrasonography has the potential to improve assessment of patients with RA.
doi:10.1186/ar1904
PMCID: PMC1526591  PMID: 16519793
16.  Can magnetic resonance imaging differentiate undifferentiated arthritis? 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(6):243-245.
A high sensitivity for the detection of inflammatory and destructive changes in inflammatory joint diseases makes magnetic resonance imaging potentially useful for assigning specific diagnoses, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis in arthritides, that remain undifferentiated after conventional clinical, biochemical and radiographic examinations. With recent data as the starting point, the present paper describes the current knowledge on magnetic resonance imaging in the differential diagnosis of undifferentiated arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar1844
PMCID: PMC1297592  PMID: 16277699

Results 1-16 (16)