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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2010 Oct;195(4):1021-5. doi: 10.2214/AJR.09.4019.

T2 relaxation time changes in distal femoral articular cartilage in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis: a 3-year longitudinal study.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA. Hee.Kim@cchmc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Increased cartilage T2 relaxation time is thought to be an early marker of disease progression in juvenile idiopathic arthritis, because it can identify microstructural changes before damage becomes visible. The purpose of this study was to investigate longitudinal changes in T2 relaxation time mapping (i.e., T2 map) in children with early juvenile idiopathic arthritis and to compare with changes in clinical assessments.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Twenty children (age range, 6.4-16 years) with early juvenile idiopathic arthritis completed at least four evaluations with T2 maps and clinical assessments: at enrollment, at 3 months, and at 1, 2, and 3 years. Sagittal T2 maps of distal femoral cartilage were generated, a region of interest was selected, and a T2 relaxation time profile was generated. The area under the curve from the T2 profile (i.e., T2 value) was correlated with patient age and sex and the following clinical assessments: total knee score, Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire, physician global assessment, parent global assessment, and total number of active joints.

RESULTS:

There was a significant increase in mean T2 values from 3 months to 2 years (p < 0.05). There was a significant decrease in mean Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire values between enrollment and 2 years (p < 0.05) and a significant decrease in parent global assessment, physician global assessment, total number of active joints, and total knee score values between enrollment and 1 year (p < 0.05). There were no statistically significant correlations between T2 values and patient age, sex, or clinical assessments.

CONCLUSION:

In patients with early juvenile idiopathic arthritis, T2 maps showed increased T2 values from the 3-month to 2-year follow-up, during which time the clinical assessments improved. This increase likely represents progressive microstructural changes, even though clinical symptoms improved with treatment.

PMID:
20858834
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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