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Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Ann Rheum Dis. Oct 2005; 64(10): 1503–1506.
Published online Mar 18, 2005. doi:  10.1136/ard.2005.038018
PMCID: PMC1755227

Magnetic resonance imaging for accelerated assessment of drug effect and prediction of subsequent radiographic progression in rheumatoid arthritis: a study of patients receiving combined anakinra and methotrexate treatment


Methods: 100 mg anakinra subcutaneously/day was added to the treatment of 17 patients with clinically active RA despite methotrexate. MRI of the non-dominant wrist and 2nd-5th MCP joints (OMERACT evaluation) was performed at weeks 0, 12, and 36, and radiography of both hands and wrists (modified Sharp evaluation) at weeks 0 and 36.

Results: MRI synovitis scores were not significantly changed. Radiography of both hands and wrists after 36 weeks showed erosive progression in 11 patients, and MRI after 12 weeks in 10 patients. Nine of 10 patients with MRI progression at 12 weeks had radiographic progression at 36 weeks. Baseline MRI synovitis and erosion scores, but no clinical/biochemical parameters, correlated significantly with subsequent erosive progression.

Conclusion: Addition of anakinra did not significantly reduce MRI signs of synovitis, and most patients had progressive joint destruction. Baseline MRI findings predicted subsequent radiographic erosive progression. Unilateral wrist and MCP joint MRI after 12 weeks had a similar sensitivity for detection of erosive progression as bilateral hand and wrist radiography after 36 weeks.

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Figure 1
 Synovitis, bone oedema, and development of new bone erosion in a finger joint of a patient with RA. MRI of the 2nd MCP joint of a patient with RA at baseline (A–E), and MRI (F–J) and conventional PA radiograph (K) after 36 weeks ...

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