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Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Ann Rheum Dis. Apr 1986; 45(4): 277–280.
PMCID: PMC1001869

Assessment of inflammation in the rheumatoid knee joint: correlation between clinical, radioisotopic, and thermographic methods.


Standard clinical methods of assessing joint inflammation are being supplemented increasingly by radioisotopic and thermographic studies. However, the correlation between these different methods has not been firmly established. In the quantification of synovitis by infrared thermography we have shown that the heat distribution index (HDI) based on thermal pattern is more reliable and is less affected by diurnal variations in joint temperature than the commonly used thermographic index, which is based on average skin temperature values. In 20 patients with rheumatoid arthritis whose knees were being treated with intra-articular steroid we obtained 184 serial paired observations over a period of 24 weeks for clinical assessment, HDI, and 99mTc pertechnetate uptake. We found significant correlations (p less than 0.001) between the three methods of assessment (except for pain and HDI (p = 0.116)).

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ring EF, Collins AJ, Bacon PA, Cosh JA. Quantitation of thermography in arthritis using multi-isothermal analysis. II. Effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory therapy on the thermographic index. Ann Rheum Dis. 1974 Jul;33(4):353–356. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Paterson J, Watson WS, Teasdale E, Evans AL, Newman P, James WB, Pitkeathly DA. Assessment of rheumatoid inflammation in the knee joint. A reappraisal. Ann Rheum Dis. 1978 Feb;37(1):48–52. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Haataja M. Evaluation of the activity of rheumatoid arthritis. A comparative study on clinical symptoms and laboratory tests with special reference to serum sulfhydryl groups. Scand J Rheumatol Suppl. 1975;7:1–54. [PubMed]

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