ISSN: 1899-0967
Polish Journal of Radiology
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vol. 87
Musculoskeletal radiology
Review paper

Magnetic resonance imaging of rheumatological diseases

Jennifer S. Weaver
Imran Omar
Winnie Mar
Andrea S. Kauser
Gary W. Mlady
Mihra Taljanovic
1, 5

Department of Radiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Department of Radiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Department of Radiology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Department of Radiology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
Departments of Medical Imaging and Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Pol J Radiol 2022; 87: e93-e112
Online publish date: 2022/02/20
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is extremely useful in the early diagnosis of rheumatologic diseases, as well as in the monitoring of treatment response and disease progression to optimize long-term clinical outcomes. MRI is highly sensitive and specific in detecting the common findings in rheumatologic diseases, such as bone marrow oedema, cartilage disruption, articular erosions, joint effusions, bursal effusions, tendon sheath effusions, and syno­vitis. This imaging modality can demonstrate structural changes of cartilage and bone destruction years earlier than radiographs. Rheumatoid arthritis, crystal deposition diseases (including gouty arthropathy and calcium pyro­phosphate deposition disease), seronegative spondyloarthropathies (including psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), and osteoarthritis have characteristic appearances on MRI. Contrast-enhanced MRI and diffusion-weighted imaging can provide additional evaluation of active synovitis. This article describes the MRI findings of normal joints, as well as the pathophysiological mechanisms and typical MRI findings of rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoarthritis.

MRI, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis

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