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Clinical Trial
. 2013 Jan;40(1):23-9.
doi: 10.3899/jrheum.120549. Epub 2012 Nov 1.

Reliability and Longitudinal Validity of Computer-Assisted Methods for Measuring Joint Damage Progression in Subjects With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Clinical Trial

Reliability and Longitudinal Validity of Computer-Assisted Methods for Measuring Joint Damage Progression in Subjects With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mervyn Qi Wei Poh et al. J Rheumatol. .

Abstract

Objective: To compare the metric properties of a computer-assisted erosion segmentation volume measurement with scoring using the Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Score (RAMRIS) in a longitudinal cohort of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Thirty-two sets of baseline and 2-year followup magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of metacarpal phalangeal 2-5 joints of patients with RA were scored using RAMRIS and segmented using OSIRIS software. The smallest detectable difference (SDD), standardized response mean (SRM), and paired t-test were used to evaluate the sensitivity to change. Eleven of the 32 patients' MRI were segmented by both readers to evaluate interreader agreement. The 28-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS28) and Sharp erosion scores further evaluated construct and longitudinal validity.

Results: Reliability of erosion progression by computer-assisted volume measurement was superior to RAMRIS [intrareader interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) 0.97 (0.94-0.99) vs 0.52 (0.22-0.73)] and interreader ICC of volume measurement was 0.85 (0.53-0.96). Computer-assisted volume measurements identified 10 of 32 patients who progressed more than the SDD progression, whereas RAMRIS identified only 4 of 32 patients (p = 0.0013). By a paired t-test, however, all MRI measures progressed significantly over 2 years (irrespective of treatment arm) and there was little difference by SRM. Construct correlational validity of the MRI methods was 0.47-0.90 for status scores and 0.33-0.81 for progression. There was no relationship between the average DAS28 and erosion progression by any imaging method.

Conclusion: Computer-assisted measurement of erosion volume has good performance metrics. It had excellent intrareader and interreader reliability and was more sensitive to change than RAMRIS in this group of patients. www.ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00451971.

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