Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging has the potential to show disease activity of rheumatoid arthritis even in complex anatomic areas as the atlantodental region.
To demonstrate the technical feasibility of measuring synovial volume and perfusion characteristics with dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the atlantodental region in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Ten patients with rheumatoid arthritis and cervical spine involvement underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spine at 1.5 T. For each patient, 80 3D datasets were acquired using the commercialized Time Resolved Imaging of Contrast KineticS (TRICKS) sequence. Volumes of synovia with active synovitis on anatomical and parametric images were segmented. Synovial tissue perfusion parameters, namely plasma flow (F), relative plasma volume (v), and the permeability-surface area product (PS), were calculated using a two-compartment uptake model. Statistical analysis included calculation of intra- and inter-reader agreement and a correlation of perfusion parameters with Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Clinical Trials (OMERACT) criteria.
Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging as well as quantification of volume and perfusion characteristics of synovia was successful in most patients (80%). Intra- and inter-reader agreement was excellent (0.89-0.99). There was a positive correlation between OMERACT score and the permeability-surface product.
Dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging using a 4D angiography sequence for the atlantodental region in patients with rheumatoid arthritis for quantitative and qualitative assessment of synovial volume and perfusion characteristics is technically feasible.