MRI in RA

MRI Findings Match Patients' Experience With RA

Patient-reported outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) correlate independently with measures of inflammation and structural damage on MRI scans,…
rheumnow.com

MRI Measures of Synovitis in RA, a Valuable Endpoint

MRI measures appear to be on target with patient-reported outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis,…
rheumatologynetwork.com

Relationship of patient-reported outcomes with MRI measures in rheumatoid arthritis

Purpose We assessed whether MRI measures of synovitis, osteitis and bone erosion were associated with patient-reported outcomes (PROs) in a longitudinal clinical trial setting among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods This longitudinal cohort of 291 patients with RA was derived from the...
ard.bmj.com

MRI evidence of persistent joint inflammation and progressive joint damage despite clinical remission during treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis

(2016). MRI evidence of persistent joint inflammation and progressive joint damage despite clinical remission during treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis. Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology: Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 99-102. doi: 10.3109/03009742.2015.1070902
tandfonline.com

Similar to ultrasound in RA, MRI appears to "over-read" inflammation (synovitis) and damage (erosions) in the joints than may be apparent on clinical assessment (joint examination and blood tests for inflammation). Interestingly, such radiological findings seem to correlate far better with patients' pain, physical function and general well-being, while the conventional clinical measures of disease activity seem to fall short.

To put it plainly, patients can better gauge what's going on with their RA (and whether the medicines they are currently receiving are helping) than what the attending doctors can figure out with their examination skills and lab tests. And how they feel and function can better predict how they'll eventually turn out years later (disabled or otherwise), than whatever prognostication construct is currently at the rheumatologists' disposal.

Ouch. More evidence that the "How ya doin'?" score is trumping our laboriously devised and validated disease activity scores.

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