Comparison of in-office magnetic resonance imaging versus conventional radiography in detecting changes in erosions after one year of infliximab therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Mod Rheumatol. 2007;17(4):273-8. doi: 10.1007/s10165-007-0591-x. Epub 2007 Aug 20.


The objective of this study was to compare standard hand radiographs with in-office 0.2 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in monitoring response to therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were receiving infliximab, to evaluate the frequency and location of erosions, and to determine if there were differences in outcome based on disease duration at baseline. Patients who satisfied the American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA and were receiving infliximab therapy were evaluated with a baseline and 1-year follow-up MRI. Magnetic resonance images were interpreted by two blinded, board-certified radiologists. Bone erosions were identified as well-defined defects extending through the cortical margin. The mean age of the 48 patients was 58.5 years. The median infliximab dosage was 4 mg/kg. Baseline data showed that 41 patients had abnormal MRIs. The mean time between the baseline and follow-up MRI examinations was 10.5 months. Follow-up MRI revealed regression in 11 patients. Thirty-one patients had both MRIs and radiographs. Magnetic resonance imaging was approximately twice as sensitive as radiography in detecting erosions at baseline. In-office MRI was useful in monitoring disease response after the initiation of infliximab treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging is potentially a very valuable diagnostic tool and prognostic indicator for use in patients with RA.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Hand Joints* / diagnostic imaging
  • Hand Joints* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Infliximab