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J Comput Assist Tomogr. 1996 Jul-Aug;20(4):512-21.

CT-guided intraarticular corticosteroid injection into the sacroiliac joints in patients with spondyloarthropathy: indication and follow-up with contrast-enhanced MRI.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Charité, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany.



Our goal was to prospectively study the therapeutic efficacy of CT-guided intraarticular corticosteroid instillation of inflamed sacroiliac joints (SIJs) in patients with spondyloarthropathies and to evaluate the role of MRI as a procedure for establishing the indication and for therapeutic follow-up.


A total of 103 CT-guided corticosteroid injections of the SIJs were performed in 66 patients with inflammatory back pain (IBP): 37 bilateral, 29 unilateral. All patients did not respond to an immediately preceding 4 week nonsteroidal antiinflammatory therapy. Forty milligrams of a crystalline long-acting corticoid was instilled in each joint. All 66 patients underwent continuous clinical follow-up at 10 to 12 week intervals after corticosteroid injection to a maximum of 18 months. The degree of subjective complaints before and after the intervention was recorded using a analogue scale (0 = no pain, 10 = unbearable pain). Dynamic contrast-enhanced (Gd-DTPA, 0.1 mmol/kg body wt) MRI with quantitative determination of contrast enhancement was performed in all patients before the therapeutic intervention and in 38 patients at 8 +/- 4 months.


Sixty-one of the 66 study patients (92.5%) showed a statistically significant abatement of subjective complaints from 8.8 +/- 1.3 to 3.3 +/- 2.3 (p < 0.01) at 1.7 +/- 1.1 weeks after intervention, and this improvement lasted for 10 +/- 5 months. The percentage contrast enhancement at dynamic MRI likewise showed a significant reduction from 100.3 +/- 48% before to 44.3 +/- 36.1% after intraarticular cortisone administration (p < 0.01).


CT-guided intraarticular corticosteroid instillation in the SIJs may be regarded as an effective therapy for florid sacroiliitis. The severity of inflammation and the response to therapy can be determined quantitatively by dynamic MRI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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