Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Psoriatic Arthritis: A Descriptive Study of Indications, Features and Effect on Treatment Change

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ObjectiveThe aims of this study were to describe the indications for, and features of, axial/peripheral joint magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and to examine the influence of MRI findings on clinical practice.MethodsAll axial and peripheral (hand and/or foot) MRI scans on patients attending the Toronto PsA clinic l between 2003 and 2014 were included. Scan details were garnered from the radiologist’s official report. A chart review was performed to determine if MRI findings contributed to a change of treatment.ResultsOne hundred sixty-eight scans were performed on 125 patients (135 axial and 33 peripheral). The mean age was 50.5 (SD, 11.5) years, with 51.2% being female. Mean duration of PsA was 11.2 (SD, 10.9) years. Of the axial scans, the majority were performed on the whole spine (excluding the sacrum) (27.4%) or the sacroiliac joints and spine together (45.2%). The predominant indications were for suspected inflammatory (51.1%) or degenerative (24.4%) disease. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed inflammatory and/or structural change in 34.1% versus 54.8% with degenerative changes. In MRI axial inflammation (n = 25), the majority (48%) had sacroiliac joint involvement, whereas 28% had inflammation at 2 or more sites.Of the periphery, 60.6% of scans were on hands and 21.2% were on feet alone. The main indications were for suspected subclinical synovitis (78.8%). Inflammatory arthritis was the MRI diagnosis in 72.7%. Magnetic resonance imaging findings influenced treatment change (n = 32) in 56.3%, but were insufficient to effect treatment change without clinical findings (100%).ConclusionsMagnetic resonance imaging is useful in evaluating patients with active PsA, particularly when suspecting inflammation and radiographic findings are unhelpful. In some cases, it can be used as an adjunct to clinical examination in determining treatment change.

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