Prevalence of sacroiliitis among patients referred for hip MR arthrography

Skeletal Radiol. 2022 Apr;51(4):795-799. doi: 10.1007/s00256-021-03885-7. Epub 2021 Aug 16.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of sacroiliitis among patients who have been referred for MR arthrography.

Materials and methods: A retrospective search identified 130 consecutive MR arthrograms of the hip performed on a 1.5T Siemens Avanto at our institution from August 2013 to August 2014. Four studies were excluded due to the absence of a coronal short tau inversion recovery sequence of the pelvis, leaving 126 studies for analysis. A musculoskeletal radiology fellow and three attending musculoskeletal radiologists reviewed the images for the presence of bone marrow edema affecting the sacroiliac joints. Only cases of bone marrow edema meeting the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society definition were considered positive. The two-tailed Fisher's exact test was used to compare the prevalence of positive MRI findings among age and gender groups. GraphPad InStat (GraphPad Software) was used for statistical calculations.

Results: Patients less than 40 years of age demonstrated a statistically higher prevalence of positive MRI findings of sacroiliitis when compared to patients older than 40 (p = 0.0082). No difference in prevalence was found between genders. Overall prevalence of MRI signal alteration suggestive of sacroiliitis as defined by the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society was 4.8%. Among the six patients with positive findings, two were subsequently diagnosed with spondyloarthritis.

Conclusion: Hip pain may be a presenting symptom of spondyloarthritis and attention should be paid to the sacroiliac joints during screening examinations, particularly in patients less than 40 years of age.

Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Arthrography; MRI; Musculoskeletal; Sacroiliitis; Spondyloarthritis.

MeSH terms

  • Arthrography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sacroiliac Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Sacroiliitis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Sacroiliitis* / epidemiology
  • Spondylarthritis* / diagnostic imaging