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We studied the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 120 knees in 86 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and of 14 unaffected knees in 12 control cases. We also developed a scoring system as a quantitative analysis method. We divided the MRI into 10 items, and classified the severity of the symptoms into 4 grades (score 0 to 3). The average total score increased according to the radiographic grade. Soft tissue lesions were clearly detected, even in the early stages of RA. Items such as synovial proliferation showed a high score even in the early stages, suggesting that it was the initial symptom of RA. The score also showed a correlation with the inflammatory signs. These results suggest that this scoring system is very sensitive and yields a good reflection of RA activity. We demonstrated that this system is simple and convenient for routine diagnostic use. We further demonstrated that it is useful for following the advancement of RA and for evaluating the response to treatment.
magnetic resonance imaging
Acta Medica Okayama
Okayama University Medical School
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