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Radiologe. 1996 Aug;36(8):609-16.

[MRI and ultrasound in rheumatology].

[Article in German]

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Universitätsklinik für Radiodiagnostik, Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institut für Physikalische und Radiologische Tumordiagnostik, Wien.


Technical innovations and software improvements in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and high-resolution sonography (US) have definitely influenced the diagnostic imaging of rheumatic diseases. For MRI, improvements in surface coils, dedicated low-field systems (0.2 T), and software improvements (shorter acquisition times and refinements of fat suppressing techniques) must be mentioned. For sonography, the main innovations concern the development of higher transducer frequencies (7-15 Mhz) and power Doppler imaging. Clinical evaluations have shown that MRI and US are most useful in cases of suspected rheumatic disease with negative plain film radiographs and for documenting the course of the disease, diagnosing of early rheumatoid arthritis, making a differential diagnosis in clinically unclear rheumatic diseases, investigating vascularization, and quantifying pannus formation. In order to improve diagnostic efficacy the role of MRI and US in the management of patients with rheumatic disease should be reconsidered.

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