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Comparison between the roles of musculoskeletal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in detection of joint inflammation and destruction in rheumatoid arthritis



Detection of early signs of synovitis and bone erosions by modern radiological techniques such as musculoskeletal ultrasound (US) and MRI has gained a great interest, as early diagnosis and treatment to target for patients of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has its impact on disease control.


The aim of the following study is to detect the ability of US compared with M Rl for the early detection of joint synovitis and bone erosion in RA patients.

Patients and methods

Six hundred joints (second to fifth metacarpophalangeal joints and second to fifth proximal interphalangeal joints) were examined in 50 patients with RA diagnosis.

Clinical assessment, noncontrast MRI, US, and conventional radiography were performed for synovitis and bone erosion evaluation.

Results and conclusion

We concluded that both US and MRI had high ability to detect inflamed joints with close agreement but favoring the US, especially with the added value of power Doppler US where it can reflect increased vascularity associated with inflammation and also with higher scores for these affected joints than that shown by MRI. On the other hand, the study has found that although both US and MRI had high ability to detect erosions with close agreement, the MRI favorably had higher scores for joint erosions compared with the scores shown by US.


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Correspondence to Sherihan M Salama B.Ch., Msc.

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Salama, S.M. Comparison between the roles of musculoskeletal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging in detection of joint inflammation and destruction in rheumatoid arthritis. Egypt Rheumatol Rehabil 46, 62–69 (2019).

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