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J Rheumatol. 1998 Apr;25(4):636-40.

Early radiographic joint space narrowing and erosion and later malalignment in rheumatoid arthritis: a longitudinal analysis.

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1
Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232-4500, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To analyze the time course of development of radiographic erosion, joint space narrowing, and malalignment in a longitudinal study of radiographs of the hands and wrists of 58 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) taken over 18 years.

METHODS:

Among 210 consecutive patients in a reported cohort, 58 had at least one prior available radiograph 2-18 years earlier. A total of 141 hand and wrist radiographs in the 58 patients were scored for joint space narrowing, erosion, and malalignment in individual joints.

RESULTS:

Of the 58 patients studied, all developed joint space narrowing, 56 (96.5%) developed erosions, while only 24 (41.4%) developed malalignment. In radiographs of 22 patient studied within the first 5 years of disease, joint space narrowing was seen in 17 (77.3%), erosion in 16 (72.7%), and malalignment in only 3 (13.6%). Radiographic progression was seen in all 36 patients in whom the interval between radiographs was longer than 2 years.

CONCLUSION:

Joint space narrowing and erosion are seen in hand radiographs of most patients with RA seen in treatment centers within the first 5 years of disease. By contrast, malalignment develops in fewer patients, and generally only after 5 years of disease.

PMID:
9558162
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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