Quantitative analysis of hand radiographs in rheumatoid arthritis: time course of radiographic changes, relation to joint examination measures, and comparison of different scoring methods

J Rheumatol. 1995 Oct;22(10):1983-9.


Quantitative studies of hand radiographs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) indicate that radiographic joint space narrowing and erosion are seen in more than 67% of patients within the 1st 2 years of disease, and progresses most rapidly during the 1st 5 years of disease, according to currently used scoring methods. Radiographic malalignment is rarely seen until after 5 years of disease. In cross sectional studies, correlations of radiographic scores with physical examination scores are minimally significant for joint tenderness, modestly significant for joint swelling, and highly significant for joint deformity and limited motion. In cross sectional studies, 3 quantitative methods, the Steinbrocker radiographic stage, modified Sharp method, and Larsen method, are highly significantly correlated and yield similar results in comparisons with other clinical measures.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthrography / methods*
  • Disease Progression
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Physical Examination
  • Time Factors