Diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis - especially in early disease - is still a challenge. A study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy examined the possibility of using MRI to help identify damage in the sacroiliac (SI) joints to assist in diagnosis.
One challenge is that damage to the SI joints is often only severe enough to be visible on a standard x-ray after 7-10 years of disease progression. SI involvement is considered a hallmark of ankylosing spondylitis. For more information on AS diagnosis, click here.
Over the last decade, a number of studies have started looking at using MRI to help diagnose the disease earlier. In this particular study, the authors state that, "Erosions can be detected on MRI to a comparable degree of reliability as bone marrow edema despite the significant heterogeneity of their appearance on MRI."
The authors of the study state that, "Remission had occurred in 35% of the patients with AS under anti-TNF-a inhibitor therapy. Dosage adjustment and progressively reducing treatment frequency was effective in maintaining remission."
To read the study abstract, click here.
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