Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is extremely useful in the early diagnosis of rheumatologic diseases, as well as in the monitoring of treatment response and disease progression to optimize long-term clinical outcomes. MRI is highly sensitive and specific in detecting the common findings in rheumatologic diseases, such as bone marrow oedema, cartilage disruption, articular erosions, joint effusions, bursal effusions, tendon sheath effusions, and syno-vitis. This imaging modality can demonstrate structural changes of cartilage and bone destruction years earlier than radiographs. Rheumatoid arthritis, crystal deposition diseases (including gouty arthropathy and calcium pyro-phosphate deposition disease), seronegative spondyloarthropathies (including psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), and osteoarthritis have characteristic appearances on MRI. Contrast-enhanced MRI and diffusion-weighted imaging can provide additional evaluation of active synovitis. This article describes the MRI findings of normal joints, as well as the pathophysiological mechanisms and typical MRI findings of rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoarthritis.
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate deposition
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging