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J Pediatr. 1993 Sep;123(3):388-92.

Utility of magnetic resonance imaging for management of hemophilic arthropathy in children.

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  • 1Mountain States Regional Hemophilia Center, Denver, CO 80262.


We hypothesized that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) would improve clinical and plain-radiograph assessments of children with hemophilic arthropathy. Thirteen children, aged 7 to 16 years, with severe factor VIII deficiency and one or more target joints were identified. A target joint was defined as a joint into which hemorrhage had occurred at least twice a month for at least the previous 6 months. After review of history, examination, and plain radiography, a recommendation regarding synovectomy or prophylaxis with factor VIII concentrate was made for each target joint. The MRI of each target joint was then reviewed. Fourteen target joints (three elbows, three knees, eight ankles) were evaluated. On the basis of clinical and plain-radiograph data, synovectomy was recommended for five and prophylaxis for seven joints. Discontinuation of prophylaxis was recommended for two ankles in one child. The MRI examination confirmed that four of five potential synovectomy candidates had markedly hypertrophied synovium and could benefit from surgery; one of five was excluded from synovectomy because synovial hypertrophy was minimal. Two of seven children recommended for prophylaxis were given substantially altered plans after MRI. In all, approximately 40% of joint assessments were modified as a result of the MRI findings. We conclude that MRI should be included in the evaluation of some children with hemophilic arthropathy.

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