Comparison of quantitative and semiquantitative dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI with respect to their correlation to delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of the cartilage in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis

J Comput Assist Tomogr. Jan-Feb 2015;39(1):64-9. doi: 10.1097/RCT.0000000000000164.


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.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / etiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Cartilage / pathology*
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Contrast Media / pharmacokinetics
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA* / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Metacarpophalangeal Joint / metabolism
  • Metacarpophalangeal Joint / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Osteochondritis / complications
  • Osteochondritis / metabolism
  • Osteochondritis / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium DTPA