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Quantification of Bone Marrow Edema by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Only Marginally Reflects Clinical Neck Pain Evaluation in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Quantification of Bone Marrow Edema by Magnetic Resonance Imaging Only Marginally Reflects Clinical Neck Pain Evaluation in Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis.
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Baraliakos X, Heldmann F, Callhoff J, Suppiah R, McQueen FM, Krause D, Klink C, Schmitz-Bortz E, Igelmann M, Kalthoff L, Kiltz U, Schmuedderich A, Braun J,


Baraliakos X, Heldmann F, Callhoff J, Suppiah R, McQueen FM, Krause D, Klink C, Schmitz-Bortz E, Igelmann M, Kalthoff L, Kiltz U, Schmuedderich A, Braun J, (click to view)

Baraliakos X, Heldmann F, Callhoff J, Suppiah R, McQueen FM, Krause D, Klink C, Schmitz-Bortz E, Igelmann M, Kalthoff L, Kiltz U, Schmuedderich A, Braun J,

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The Journal of rheumatology 2016 Oct 15() pii jrheum.150553
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
Neck pain is common in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). We investigated the correlation of bone marrow edema (BME) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in RA and AS and its association with clinical complaints of neck pain.

METHODS
Cervical spine short-tau inversion recovery-MRI and T1w-MRI of 34 patients with RA and 6 patients with AS complaining about neck pain were obtained. Clinical and laboratory data were available. BME was scored by 2 blinded readers using a modification of a published score, including various cervical sites. Degenerative changes were also quantified.

RESULTS
Patients were predominantly women (82.5%), and mean ± SD age was 57.5 ± 11.8 years, C-reactive protein (CRP) was 0.8 ± 1.3 mg/dl, and pain score was 46.0 ± 17.5. BME was detected in 24/40 patients (60%) involving the atlantoaxial region (21%), vertebral bodies (75%), facet joints (29%), and spinous processes (46%). Degenerative changes were identified in 21/40 patients (52.5%), 13 (62%) of whom also had BME in vertebral bodies. No differences were found between patients with versus without cervical BME for clinical assessments: numeric rating scale pain (median ± interquartile range) 5.5 ± 3.0 vs 6.0 ± 4.0 (p = 0.69), Funktionsfragebogen Hannover 68.2 ± 41.0 vs 42.0 ± 55.5 (p = 0.19), Northwick pain score 44.4 ± 21.8 vs 47.2 ± 27.0 (p = 0.83), or CRP 0.40 ± 0.80 vs 0.60 ± 0.66 (p = 0.94). For patients with degenerative changes, symptom duration was longer than for patients without (10 ± 12.5 vs 5.0 ± 18.0 yrs, p = 0.73).

CONCLUSION
In this small study of patients with RA and AS complaining about neck pain, BME was found in many different cervical sites, including the facet joints and the spinous processes. However, the occurrence and severity of BME did not correlate with the severity of neck pain.

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