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New Research: Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Detection of Rheumatoid Arthritis

(radRounds) -- According to a prospective longitudinal study conducted by some U.S. and U.K. researchers and published in the October issue of “Arthritis & Rheumatism.” When rheumatoid arthritis is in clinical remission even then if structural deterioration were to continue, the probable cause for that appears to be subclinical joint inflammation, this inflammation can be detected by using ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI),

The study is probably the first to show that both direct association and demonstrate the fact that subclinical inflammation can help predict the results of X-ray examination of the clinically asymptomatic joints.

For this study used the patients used were the same who participated in an earlier leg of the study which was published in the year 2006. After that leg of research, the authors established that even though most patients fulfilled all the standard criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remission, and all continuously received Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs), yet a sizable majority of patients showed symptoms of synovial inflammation, when they underwent MRI or Ultrasound.

For the analysis, around ninety participants underwent X-rays of feet, hands and wrists. They also underwent ultrasound and MRI assessments 12 months later.

by Jennifer Larson
Staff Writer, radRounds
November 6, 2008

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