Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: cervical spine involvement and MRI in early diagnosis

Turk J Pediatr. Apr-Jun 1996;38(2):189-94.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the cervical spine was performed on 20 patients (mean age 10 years) with a preliminary diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). In all patients conventional x-rays of the cervical spine were obtained, and the relationship between clinical status and MRI findings were evaluated. Two patients with clinical manifestations, including neck pain and diminished range of motion, exhibited significant pathologic features on radiogram and MRI, the latter providing more detailed information. Among 18 patients who had no complaints about their cervical spines, 3 patients (65%) had either soft tissue involvement, pannus formation or erosions on the surface of atlantoaxial joints; only four patients (20%) had erosions on plain x-ray views. Since the early diagnostic ability of MRI in JRA allows early therapeutic intervention, every patient with a probable diagnosis of JRA would benefit from MRI.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / pathology
  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervical Vertebrae / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Radiography