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Radiology. 2010 Nov;257(2):441-7. doi: 10.1148/radiol.10100459. Epub 2010 Aug 31.

Metacarpophalangeal joints in rheumatoid arthritis: delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage--a feasibility study.

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1
Institute of Radiology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany. falk.miese @med.uni-duesseldorf.de

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the feasibility of delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the cartilage of metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared with that in control subjects.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained. Thirty-one MCP joints in 10 patients with RA (mean age, 59 years; range, 35-77 years) and six healthy volunteers (mean age, 51 years; range, 30-71 years) were examined with delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage. Sagittal images of the second and third MCP joints (hereafter, MCP II and MCP III) were acquired with a three-dimensional dual-flip-angle gradient-echo sequence at 3.0 T. B(1) field inhomogeneity-corrected T1 maps were calculated, and delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage values for phalangeal and metacarpal cartilage were determined. In addition, cartilage thickness was measured. A nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test was used to assess differences between groups.

RESULTS:

Phalangeal and metacarpal delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage values in patients with RA (MCP II: 388 msec ± 105 [standard deviation] and 342 msec ± 79, respectively; MCP III: 409 msec ± 96 and 371 msec ± 89, respectively) were significantly lower than in control subjects (MCP II: 598 msec ± 62 and 560 msec ± 51, respectively; MCP III: 586 msec ± 57 and 561 msec ± 80, respectively). Cartilage thickness of both joints was comparable in patients with RA (MCP II: 1.28 mm ± 0.50, MCP III: 1.17 mm ± 0.24) and control subjects (MCP II: 1.42 mm ± 0.33, MCP III: 1.18 mm ± 0.26).

CONCLUSION:

Delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage of the MCP joints is feasible at 3.0 T. Delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage may help to assess cartilage degeneration in morphologically normal-appearing MCP II and III cartilage in patients with RA.

PMID:
20807848
DOI:
10.1148/radiol.10100459
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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