MRI-scores of synovial membrane hypertrophy and bone erosions of the RA-wrist are introduced. Gadolinium-DTPA enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and conventional radiography (CR) of the wrist were performed in 16 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 3 healthy controls. A MRI-score of synovial membrane hypertrophy was obtained by summation of gradings of synovial hypertrophy in 6 regions of the wrist. The score was significantly higher in wrists with than in wrists without clinical signs of active arthritis. The score was 0 in all healthy controls. Each bone of the wrist was assessed by MRI and CR with respect to bone erosions. Bone erosions were detected by MRI in 14 wrists in contrast to only 6 wrists by CR. In all patients the erosions were more numerous on MRI. The introduced methods may be useful quantitative measures of synovitis and early joint destruction in RA.