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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Jan;51(1):134-43. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ker220. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

Correlation between computer-aided dynamic gadolinium-enhanced MRI assessment of inflammation and semi-quantitative synovitis and bone marrow oedema scores of the wrist in patients with rheumatoid arthritis--a cohort study.

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Department of Radiology, Frederiksberg Hospital, Nordrefasanvej 57, Frederiksberg Hospital, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark.



To test the correlation between assessment of inflammation using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) analysed by a novel computer-aided approach and semi-quantitative scores of synovitis and bone marrow oedema (BME) using the OMERACT-RA MRI Scoring (RAMRIS) system, in the wrist of patients with RA.


Fifty-four RA patients had conventional and DCE-MRI of a symptomatic wrist using a low-field 0.2T extremity scanner. RAMRIS synovitis and BME of the wrist joint were done. DCE-MRI data were analysed in three ways: (i) in all images (fully automated approach), (ii) within a large extended region of interest (ROI) placed around the wrist joint (semi-automated approach) and (iii) within a small ROI placed in the area with most visual enhancement (semi-automated approach). Time spent on each procedure was noted. Spearman's rank correlation test was applied to assess the correlation between RAMRIS and the computer-generated dynamic parameters.


RAMRIS synovitis (range 2-9), BME (range 0-39) and the dynamic parameters reflecting the number of enhancing voxels were significantly correlated, especially when an extended ROI around the wrist was used (ρ = 0.74; P < 0.01 for synovitis and ρ = 0.82; P < 0.01 for BME). The observer spent on average 20 min (range 12-25 min) to perform RAMRIS, including acquisition of the results in the database, and 8 min (range 7-10 min) to perform all above-mentioned computer-aided analyses.


Computer-aided analysis of DCE-MRI data correlated with RAMRIS synovitis and BME and was twice as fast to perform. This technique may be useful for quick semi-automated assessment of joint inflammation, but needs further validation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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