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MRI of the hand in psoriatic and rheumatical arthritis

  • Original Article
  • Musculoskeletal Radiology
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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the hand in patients with psoriatic arthritis (PA) was evaluated and compared with MRI of the hand in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Both MRI and X-ray examinations of the hands were performed in 28 PA patients and 18 RA patients.

The MRI showed a PA pattern characterized by a more pronounced soft tissue swelling as compared with RA patients. Diffuse and pronounced periarticular oedema that spread to the subcutis was evident in 24 (85.7 %) PA patients. Subchondral changes were characteristic of PA patients, and were observed in 12 of 28 PA patients (42.8 %). In these cases, conventional X-ray examination failed to show any bone change. These two changes were not seen in RA patients. Our preliminary results indicate that MRI might play a role in differential diagnosis between PA and RA especially in the early phase of the disease in which conventional radiological examination is negative.

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Giovagnoni, A., Grassi, W., Terilli, F. et al. MRI of the hand in psoriatic and rheumatical arthritis. Eur. Radiol. 5, 590–595 (1995).

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