Objective: To develop a method for quantifying acute synovial inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Methods: Gadolinium-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid-enhanced MRI was performed in 21 patients with knee synovitis. Changes in synovial membrane signal intensity were identified and quantified by line profile analysis. Multiple synovial biopsies were obtained by a blind biopsy technique, and standard clinical and laboratory measurements of disease activity were recorded.
Results: The rate of synovial membrane enhancement correlated with histologic features of acute inflammation (r = 0.63, P < 0.01), but not with clinical or laboratory assessments.
Conclusion: Dynamic MRI is a valuable technique for assessing acute synovial inflammation in RA.