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Editorial

Predicting joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis using MRI scanning

Fiona M McQueen1* and Nicola Dalbeth2

Author Affiliations

1 Associate Professor in Rheumatology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, 85 Park Rd, Grafton, Auckland, New Zealand

2 Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, 85 Park Rd, Grafton, Auckland, New Zealand

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:124  doi:10.1186/ar2778


See related research by Munwiler et al., http://arthritis-research.com/content/11/3/R94

Published: 14 September 2009

Abstract

Predicting prognosis in the patient with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis is of key importance so that high-cost therapies can be tailored to the needs of the individual. In a recent issue of Arthritis Research and Therapy, the prognostic significance of MRI changes at the forefoot has been studied. While progression to radiographic erosion occurred rarely in this group of patients exposed to potent disease-suppressing therapies, including TNF inhibitors, MRI bone edema, representing osteitis, has been further implicated as a forerunner to bone erosion. Early MRI scans of the forefoot were helpful in defining those with the potential to progress as well as those in a good prognosis category.