MR imaging assessment of clinical problems in rheumatoid arthritis
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Although MR imaging has been increasingly recognized as a useful tool in the diagnosis of early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and in the assessment of disease activity, these applications have not yet been usually included in the routine management of this condition. Our goal is to review the current role of MRI in the everyday clinical management of patients with RA. The usefulness of MRI in the evaluation of articular and para-articular changes in specific locations, mainly the craniocervical region and the temporomandibular joint, are reviewed. Clinical problems derived from local extra-articular involvement, such as tenosynovitis, "rice-bodies" bursitis, and Baker's cyst rupture, are also described. Finally, we also review the value of MRI in evaluation of some complications of RA such as tendinous rupture, osteonecrosis, stress fracture, and septic arthritis/osteomyelitis.
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