Septic complications involving hand and wrist in patients with pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis: The role of magnetic resonance imaging and sonography

C. Bortolotto, B. Gregoli, D. R. Coscia, F. Draghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Septic arthritis (SA), frequently involving hand and wrist, is common in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients due to immunomediated etiology of RA and immunosuppressive drug use. Clinical and laboratory features might not be useful to differentiate between RA relapse and superimposed SA. The role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been described in several studies. Our aim is to evaluate the role of ultrasonography (US). Material and methods: In the last 4 years 31 MRI of hand and wrist has been performed in the suspect of SA complicating RA. A 1.5. T unit (Siemens Symphony, Erlangen, Germany) with standardized protocol, involving the administration of contrast medium, was used. Also US with power Doppler evaluation was performed. A Philips IU22 US scanner was used. Results: Eleven points (according to Graif's study) were analyzed for every MRI and US. At MRI joint effusion (37.5% of RA relapse vs 100% superimposed SA) and soft tissue edema (25% vs 100%) were indicative of SA. At US joint effusion (31.3% of RA relapse vs 73.3% superimposed SA) and soft tissue edema (12.5% vs 60%) were indicative of SA. Conclusion: Our results suggest that joint effusion and soft tissue edema are markers suggestive for superimposed SA and that MRI is more sensitive in their evaluation. Although US is less sensitive than MRI, the former is important in guiding invasive procedure and evaluating patients that cannot undergo MRI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Ultrasound
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Septic arthritis
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Internal Medicine

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Septic complications involving hand and wrist in patients with pre-existing rheumatoid arthritis: The role of magnetic resonance imaging and sonography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this