Wrist MRI Foretells RA Results
New Zealand researchers have discovered that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of thewrist in patients in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be used to forecast functionaloutcomes years later. For their study, the investigators followed 42 patients in the beginningstages of RA for 6 years. They looked at MRI of the dominant wrist, conventional x-rays,and the clinical assessment of the disease.
The results showed that discovery of fluid around the bone (bone edema), using MRI, stronglypredicted bone erosion scores after 6 years. MRI bone edema also correlated with the healthassessment score at the study's onset. Total MRI score and bone erosion after 6 years indicateda good association with measures of function, noted the researchers in the Annals of theRheumatic Diseases (May 2004).