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Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Apr;22(2):45-59. doi: 10.1097/RMR.0b013e31825c008d.

Magnetic resonance imaging of inflammatory arthropathies of peripheral joints.

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Section of Musculoskeletal Radiology, Imaging Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


As the treatment of inflammatory arthropathies has advanced with new therapies that can slow or even halt the development of disabling disease, early and accurate diagnosis has become imperative. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has proved to be very sensitive in the detection of erosions, but more importantly, it can demonstrate pre-erosive changes. Detection of synovitis and edema-like bone marrow lesions for initial diagnosis and as an indicator of disease progression can provide crucial information leading to therapeutic interventions before permanent joint damage occurs. Understanding the characteristic intra-articular and extra-articular MR imaging findings of the inflammatory arthritides allows the radiologist to provide appropriate consultations in the care of these patients. The MR appearances of both intra-articular and extra-articular findings of inflammatory arthritis are presented. Despite the advances in imaging, however, many of the MR findings remain nonspecific, and radiologists must avoid overdiagnosis by synthesizing all of the clinical information available into their interpretations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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