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Revista argentina de radiología

versión On-line ISSN 1852-9992


SPINA (H), Juan C. et al. Assessment of structural damage of hands by MRI in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis, without evidence of erosions in radiography. Rev. argent. radiol. [online]. 2009, vol.73, n.4, pp.439-448. ISSN 1852-9992.

Introduction: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints, leading to destruction of articular cartilage and bone. Approximately 75% of RA patients develop joint erosions within the first two years of onset of symptoms. The presence of early erosions reveals more aggressive disease and is associated with an unfavorable prognosis. It has been shown that erosion damage can be seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) even before 6 months of the disease onset. This technique appears to be more sensitive than conventional radiology. MRI evaluation using the score of Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Clinical Trials (OMERACT) / Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Score (RAMRIS) allows semiquantitative assessment of bone edema, synovitis and erosions. Objective: To evaluate the characteristics of structural damage by MRI in patients with early RA (less than one year of progression), with no erosions of hands on the X-ray. Materials and methods: We selected 10 patients with RA according to the ACR criteria 1987, whose score showed radiographic Sharp / van der Heijde equal to 0 (zero) for erosions. They underwent MRI of both hands. The Sharp / van der Heijde method was used to assess articular impingement, and the OMERACT-RAMRIS score to quantify joint lesions detected by MRI. The final scores obtained by both methods were compared. Results: Ten patients (9 females and 1 male) with radiographic score Sharp / van der Heijde zero for erosion were included. Mean age was 45.8 years (range 25-71). When the MRI was performed, the mean time of RA progression was 3.6 months (range 1 to 8). The average score was 52 radiological clamping (range 36 to 83). The OMERACT-RAMRIS half score was 24 (range 4- 55); all patients had synovitis, and 7 (70%) had bone edema. Although no erosions have been seen on radiographs, in 7 patients (70%) erosions were seen on the MRI. Erosions accounted for 26.25% of the total MRI score. Conclusion: Traditionally, the RA-related structural damage has been measured using different radiological score methods. Since early detection of erosions predicts a more aggressive disease, MRI should be considered in patients with early RA to evaluate their prognosis. However, a larger number of patients should be analyzed to confirm this observation.

Palabras clave : Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Hand; Reumatoid Arthritis.

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