Rheumatoid Arthritis: Survey of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features in the Musculoskeletal System

PL Munk, LO Marchinkow, WC Torreggiani, MJ Lee

Hong Kong J Radiol 2002;5:63-8

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthropathy worldwide, but may be less prevalent in Asian populations. The spectrum of magnetic resonance imaging findings encountered in the musculoskeletal system in this disease are discussed. The role of magnetic resonance imaging in rheumatoid arthritis lies, not in diagnosis, but in evaluation of the integrity of structures affected by the disease process. Magnetic resonance imaging is more sensitive to synovial changes than is radiography, and may permit quantification of changes in disease activity, as well as evaluation of the effects of drug therapy, and of complications of the disease and its treatment.