The following is a summary of “Early Detection of First Carpometacarpal Joint Osteoarthritis Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging Assessment in Women With High Hypermobility Scores” published in the December 2022 issue of Rheumatology by Taylor-Gjevre et al.

For a study, researchers sought to investigate the relationship between hypermobility and osteoarthritis (OA) at the first carpometacarpal (CMC) joint by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to spot early changes in women who were at high risk of getting OA but who had no official diagnosis at the time.

A total of 33 women (aged 30 to 50) who self-reported having had maternal hand OA but had not received a personal OA diagnosis were included in the observational research. A 5-point hypermobility questionnaire was filled out by participants. “High hypermobility scores” were assigned to the 20 subjects who received two or more affirmative replies. “Low hypermobility scores” were assigned to the remaining 13 individuals. Data on parity, smoking status, functional index, hand pain measurement, and body mass index were collected. Radiography and MRI evaluation of the participant’s dominant hand were performed. Assessors who were blind to the classification of the hypermobility score assessed imaging findings.

There were no discernible changes between the groups with greater and lower hypermobility scores regarding age, body mass index, parity, functional index, or pain ratings. For radiographic changes, there were no notable variations between groups. However, MRI scans revealed abnormalities in the trapezium cartilage (75% vs. 38%), metacarpal cartilage (80% vs. 38%), and trapezium bone (70% vs. 31%) in significantly higher proportions of women with higher hypermobility scores; P< 0.05 for all.

Women with higher hypermobility scores were likelier to have first CMC joint structural abnormalities. The discovery of early preradiographic alterations in the group supported the idea that early-life joint laxity may influence a future propensity for OA. For those who have a high risk of developing OA in their CMC joints, magnetic resonance imaging may be the imaging test of choice for spotting early cartilage changes.