5 years ago

Comparison of MRI with radiography for detecting structural lesions of the sacroiliac joint using CT as standard of reference: results from the SIMACT study


Radiographs of sacroiliac (SI) joints are used for the detection of structural damage in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), but are often difficult to interpret. Here, we address the question how the T1-weighted MRI (T1w MRI) sequence compares with radiography for SI joints’ structural lesions using low-dose CT as the standard of reference.


Radiographs, T1w MRI and low-dose CT of the SI joints from 110 patients (mean age 36.1 (19–57) years, 52% males and 48% females; 53% with axSpA, 21 non-radiographic axSpA and 32% radiographic axSpA, 47% with non-SpA) referred to the rheumatologist because of unclear chronic back pain, but possible axSpA, were scored for structural lesions (erosions, sclerosis, joint space changes and an overall impression of positivity).


Using low-dose CT as the standard of reference, T1w MRI showed markedly better sensitivity with significantly more correct imaging findings compared with radiography for erosions (79% vs 42%; p=0.002), joint space changes (75% vs 41%; p=0.002) and overall positivity (85% vs 48%; p=0.001), respectively, while there were no differences between X-rays and MRI-T1 sequence regarding specificity (>80% for all scores). Only for sclerosis, MRI-T1 was inferior to radiography (sensitivity 30% vs 70%, respectively), however, not statistically significant (p=0.663).


T1w MRI was superior to radiography in the detection of structural lesion of the SI joints in patients with axSpA. Future studies should focus on finding an agreement on the definition of MRI-T1 positivity.

Publisher URL: http://ard.bmj.com/cgi/content/short/76/9/1502

DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210640

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.