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J Rheumatol. 2005 Dec;32(12):2465-9.

The evidence for magnetic resonance imaging as an outcome measure in proof-of-concept rheumatoid arthritis studies.

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Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal Disease, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has now been used extensively in cross-sectional and observational studies as well as in controlled clinical trials to assess disease activity and joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). MRI measurements or scores for erosions, bone edema, and synovitis have been developed and validated by several groups. The OMERACT criteria require that outcome measures demonstrate adequate validity, discriminative power, and feasibility if they are to be useful in clinical trials. Specific performance targets for these criteria depend on the scientific, regulatory, logistical, and financial context of the study in question. We review the extent to which MRI assessments of joint erosion, bone edema, and synovitis fulfil these criteria, particularly as they relate to proof-of-concept RA clinical trials.

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