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Acad Radiol. 2011 Jul;18(7):804-9. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2011.01.027. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Assessment of synovitis in erosive osteoarthritis of the hand using DCE-MRI and comparison with that in its major mimic, the psoriatic arthritis.

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  • 1Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Tuebingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 3, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany.



To investigate the diagnostic value of high-resolution dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) for assessment of synovitis in erosive osteoarthritis (EOA) of the hand and compare the results with those acquired in its potential mimic, the psoriatic arthritis (PsA).


Twenty-six patients (17 PsA, 9 EOA) were examined at 3 T. The time course of synovial contrast uptake was measured by ROI analysis using a three-dimensional encoded spoiled gradient-echo sequence. Characteristic parameters of synovial uptake curves (time to peak [TTP], peak value, mean transit time [MTT], area under the curve [AUC], and maximum upslope) of PsA and EOA patients were compared using gamma variate analysis and calculation of the late relative enhancement 15 minutes after contrast administration.


Enhancement curves of PsA and EOA patients paralleled each other at comparable levels in the early phase after contrast injection without statistical difference in the following calculated characteristic curve parameters: TTP, peak value, MTT, AUC, and maximum upslope. However, significant difference was found in the late relative enhancement 15 minutes after contrast injection (P = .0275) with higher values in EOA patients.


DCE-MRI provides assessment of synovitis in both patients with EOA and PsA. Interestingly, synovial enhancement characteristics were comparable for the most part in these two disorders. However, late enhancement might help in differentiation which is essential for guiding therapy.

Copyright © 2011 AUR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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