Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the correlation between semiquantitative and quantitative dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) parameters with delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cartilage (dGEMRIC).
Methods: Fifteen patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from the ArthroMark cohort were investigated at a 3-T MRI scanner. The metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint of the index finger was examined with DCE-MRI and dGEMRIC. Semiquantitative and quantitative DCE perfusion parameters were calculated. The RA MRI score of the second MCP joint and the joint space width were measured.
Results: Significant correlations were noted between both semiquantitative and quantitative DCE parameters and the RA MRI score of the second MCP joint. There was a significant negative correlation between DCE parameters and dGEMRIC. No association between joint space width and DCE parameters was observed.
Conclusions: Semiquantitative and quantitative analyses of perfusion are applicable to show that cartilage damage correlates with the inflammation activity despite the absence of joint space narrowing.