Short-term follow-up of the juvenile rheumatoid knee with fat-saturated 3D MRI

Pediatr Radiol. 2001 Mar;31(3):189-95. doi: 10.1007/s002470000371.


Objective: To determine the correlation between clinical status and 3D, fat-saturated contrast-enhanced MRI findings in assessing the response to treatment in patients with knee-joint involvement from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA).

Materials and methods: Synovial hypertrophy, effusion, cartilage and epiphyseal status were scored using spin-echo (SE) T1-weighted, SE T2-weighted and contrast-enhanced, fat-suppressed 3D MRI in 42 knees of 21 patients. MRI findings were evaluated by scoring results and compared with the clinical scoring results. Progression, improvement and equivalence were analysed between 0-3 and 3-6 months, both clinically and by MRI.

Results: Fat-suppression imaging generated high contrast between cartilage, synovium, effusion and bone. Correlation coefficients according to progression, improvement and equivalent findings of months 1-3 and months 3-6 comparison of clinical and MRI scores were found to be 0.50 and 0.70, respectively.

Conclusion: Contrast-enhanced 3D MRI with fat suppression provides good discrimination between synovial hypertrophy and fluid. Fat-suppressed imaging offers better contrast between cartilage and synovium. Long-term MRI follow-up of JRA improves direct follow-up of pathological changes and helps in modifying treatment regimens.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Knee Joint / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male