Predictors of joint damage progression and stringent remission in patients with established rheumatoid arthritis in clinical remission.

Baseline MRI osteitis and tenosynovitis were independent predictors of 2 year MRI damage progression in RA patients in clinical remission, while independent predictors of radiographic damage progression were age and gender. Following an MRI treat-to-target strategy, low scores of patient-reported outcomes and low tender joint count predicted achievement of stringent remission.

Quantitative Imaging in Inflammatory Arthritis: Between Tradition and Innovation.

Radiologic imaging is crucial for diagnosing and monitoring rheumatic inflammatory diseases. Particularly the emerging approach of precision medicine has increased the interest in quantitative imaging. Extensive research has shown that ultrasound allows a quantification of direct signs such as bone erosions and synovial thickness. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (CT) contribute to the quantitative assessment of secondary signs such as osteoporosis or lean mass loss. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), using different techniques and sequences, permits in-depth evaluations. For instance, the perfusion of the inflamed synovium can be quantified by dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging or diffusion-weighted imaging, and cartilage injury can be assessed by mapping (T1ρ, T2). Furthermore, the increased metabolic activity characterizing the inflammatory response can be reliably assessed by hybrid imaging (positron emission tomography [PET]/CT, PET/MRI). Finally, advances in intelligent systems are pushing forward quantitative imaging. Complex mathematical algorithms of lesions’ segmentation and advanced pattern recognition are showing promising results.

The Effects of Weight Loss on Imaging Outcomes in Osteoarthritis of the Hip or Knee in People who are Overweight or Obese: A Systematic Review

Copyright © 2019 Osteoarthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2020 Jan;28(1):10-21. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2019.10.013. Epub 2019 Nov 26.


To evaluate the structural effects of weight loss on hip or knee osteoarthritis (OA) and to summarize which structural joint pathologies have been examined and the evidence for the outcome measurement instruments applied.
Based on a pre-specified protocol (available: PROSPERO CRD42017065263), we conducted a systematic search of the bibliographic databases, Medline, Embase and Web of Science identifying longitudinal articles reporting the effects of weight loss on structural imaging outcomes in OA of the hip or knee in people who are overweight or obese.
From 1625 potentially eligible records, 14 articles (from 6 cohorts) were included. 2 cohorts were derived from RCTs. Evaluated pathologies were: articular cartilage (n = 7), joint space width (n = 3), bone marrow lesions (n = 5), synovitis (n = 2), effusion (n = 1), meniscus (n = 3), bone marrow density (n = 1) and infrapatellar fat pad (IPFP; n = 2). Cartilage showed conflicting results when evaluating cartilage thickness by direct thickness measurements. Compositional dGEMRIC and T2 mapping measures in early knee OA showed trends towards reduced cartilage degeneration. Joint space width on conventional radiographs showed no change. Weight loss reduced the size of the IPFP. Synovitis and effusion were not affected. Following weight loss DXA showed bone loss at the hip.
We did not find consistent evidence of the effects of weight loss on OA structural pathology in people who are overweight or obese. There is a need to achieve consensus on which structural pathologies and measurements to apply in weight loss and OA research.

The Role of Advanced MRI in the Development of Treat-to-Target Therapeutic Strategies, Patient Stratification and Phenotyping in Rheumatoid Arthritis

In this commentary we discuss the potential of advanced imaging, particularly Dynamic Contrast Enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the objective assessment of disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We emphasise the potential DCE-MRI in advancing the field and exploring new areas of research and development in RA. We believe that different grades of bone marrow edema (BME) and synovitis in RA can be examined and monitored in a more sensitive manner with DCE-MRI. Future treatments for RA will be significantly improved by enhanced imaging of BMEs and synovitis. DCE-MRI will also facilitate enhanced stratification and phenotyping of patients enrolled in clinical trials.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tenosynovitis and Osteitis are Independent Predictors of Radiographic and MRI Damage Progression in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients In Clincial Remission

Copyright © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2019 June;78(2)_suppl. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-eular.2006


Progression of structural joint damage occurs in 20-30 % of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in clinical remission1. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-detected synovitis and in particular osteitis/bone marrow edema (BME) are known predictors of structural progression in both active RA and in remission, but the predictive value of adding MRI tenosynovitis assessment as potential predictor in patients in clinical remission has not been investigated.

To investigate the predictive value of baseline MRI inflammatory and damage parameters on 2 year MRI and X-ray damage progression in an RA cohort in clinical remission, following MRI and conventional treat-to-target (T2T) strategies.

200 RA patients in clinical remission (DAS28-CRP<3.2 and no swollen joints) on conventional DMARDs, included in the randomized IMAGINE-RA trial2 (conventional DAS28 + MRI-guided T2T strategy targeting absence of BME vs conventional DAS28 guided T2T strategy) had baseline and 2 years contrast-enhanced MRIs of the dominant wrist and 2nd-5th MCP joints and X-rays of hands and feet performed, which were evaluated with known chronology by two experienced readers according to the OMERACT RAMRIS scoring system and Sharp/van der Heijde method, respectively.

The following potentially predictive baseline variables: MRI BME, synovitis, tenosynovitis, MRI and X-ray erosion and joint space narrowing (JSN) score, CRP, DAS28, smoking status, gender, age and patient group were tested in univariate logistic regression analyses with 2-year progression in MRI combined damage score, Total Sharp Score (TSS), and MRI and X-ray JSN and erosion scores as dependent variables. Variables with p<0.1, age, gender and patient group were included in multivariable logistic regression analyses with backward selection.

Based on univariate analyses MRI BME, synovitis, tenosynovitis, x-ray erosion and JSN, gender and age were included in subsequent multivariable analyses. Independent MRI predictors of structural progression were BME (MRI progression) and tenosynovitis (MRI and X-ray progression), MRI combined damage score: sum score of MRI erosion and JSN scores.

This trial is the first to report that MRI tenosynovitis independently predicts both X-ray and MRI damage progression in RA patients in clinical remission. Further studies are needed to confirm MRI-determined tenosynovitis as predictor of progressive joint destruction in RA clinical remission.