Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of bone disease in the arthritis mutilans (AM) form of psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Methods: Twenty-eight patients with erosive PsA were enrolled (median disease duration of 14 years). Using x-rays of both hands and feet, 11 patients were classified as AM and 17 as non-AM (erosive psoriatic arthritis without bone lysis)by two observers. MRI scans (1.5T) of the dominant hand (wrist and fingers scanned separately) were obtained using standard contrast-enhanced T1-weighted and fat-saturated T2-weighted sequences. Scans were scored separately by two readers for bone erosion, oedema and proliferation using a PsA MRI scoring system. X-rays were scored for erosions and joint space narrowing.
Results: On MRI, 1013 bones were scored by both readers. Reliability for scoring erosions and bone oedema was high (intraclass correlation coefficients = 0.80 and 0.77 respectively) but only fair for bone proliferation (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.42). MRI erosion scores were higher in AM patients (53.0 versus 15.0, p = 0.004) as were bone oedema and proliferation scores (14.7 versus 10.0, p = 0.056 and 3.6 versus 0.7, p = 0.003 respectively). MRI bone oedema scores correlated with MRI erosion scores and X-ray erosion and joint space narrowing scores (r = 0.65, p = 0.0002 for all) but not the disease activity score 28-C reactive protein (DAS28CRP) or pain scores.
Conclusions: In this patient group with PsA, MRI bone oedema, erosion and proliferation were all more severe in the AM-form. Bone oedema scores did not correlate with disease activity measures but were closely associated with X-ray joint damage scores. These results suggest that MRI bone oedema may be a pre-erosive feature and that bone damage may not be coupled with joint inflammation in PsA.