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Contrast-enhanced MRI could lead to a more targeted therapy for rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis

19 February 2010 Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

According to a new study contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could help to differentiate between psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis in hands and wrists.  Because in the past the treatment for patients with psoriatic arthritis was based on the treatment for those with rheumatoid arthritis the results of the study might lead to a more targeted therapy unique to each condition.

The study that took place at the University Hospital of Tubingen imaged using contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging 31 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 14 with psoriatic arthritis. The contrast media in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis is presumed to be different and the difference can only be seen 15 minutes after the contrast material is given.

“Our study revealed a significant difference in perfusion between those patients with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis after 15 minutes. However, since it was a small group of patients and there was an overlap in perfusion values between both types of arthritis, a diagnosis could not be led by contrast-enhanced MRI alone. Our results are nonetheless promising though,” said Nina Schwenzer, lead author of the study.

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