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Z Rheumatol. 2010 Feb;69(1):79-86. doi: 10.1007/s00393-009-0547-y.

[Low-field magnetic resonance imaging for rheumatoid arthritis].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Endokrinologie, Diabetologie und Rheumatologie, Rheumazentrum Rhein-Ruhr, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225 Düsseldorf.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a cross-sectional imaging procedure allows a three-dimensional representation of musculature, ligaments, tendons, capsules, synovial membranes, bones and cartilage with high resolution quality. An activity assessment is further possible by application of a contrast medium (gadolinium-DTPA) to differentiate between active and chronic inflammatory processes. Evidence of a bone marrow edema detected by MRI in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be interpreted as a prognostic and predictive factor for the development of bone erosions. On the basis of these advantages MRI is being employed more and more in the early diagnosis of inflammatory joint diseases. Semi-quantitative scores for analysis and grading of findings have already been developed and are in clinical use. Because MRI technical performances are invariably reproducible they can be practically retrieved in the course of examination which is particularly relevant in rheumatology. Therapy response or progression can thus be adequately displayed. Open, dedicated low-field MRI with a low signal strength of 0.2 Tesla (T) has been known since the 90s and now represents new MRI examination options in rheumatology. Smaller devices with lower acquisition and maintenance expenses as well as considerably more convenience due to the device itself result in a higher subjective acceptability by the patients as well as objectively more data records of low-field MRI scans of RA, which underline the significance of this new technical method. The German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh), represented by the Committee for "Diagnostic Imaging", meets this development with the release of recommendations and standards for the procedures of low-field MRI and their scoring and summarizes the most important technical data and information on clinical indications.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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