Magnetic resonance imaging of hindfoot involvement in patients with spondyloarthritides: comparison of low-field and high-field strength units

Iris Eshed, Christian E Althoff, Eugen Feist, Kirsten Minden, Tania Schink, Bernd Hamm, Kay-Geert A Hermann
European Journal of Radiology 2008, 65 (1): 140-7

OBJECTIVE: To compare MRI evaluation of a painful hindfoot of patients with spondyloarthritides (SpA) on low-field (0.2 T) versus high-field (1.5 T) MRI.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with SpA and hindfoot pain were randomly referred to either high-field or low-field MRI. Twenty-seven patients were evaluated (male/female: 17:10; mean age: 39+/-1.4 years). Fifteen patients were examined by low-field and 12 by high-field MRI. Two patients (evaluated by high-field MRI) were excluded. Images were separately read by two radiologists who later reached a consensus. In each patient the prevalence of erosions, fluid, synovitis or bone marrow edema of the hindfoot joints, tendinosis or tenosynovitis of tendons, enthesitis of the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and retrocalcaneal bursitis were recorded. Clinical and demographic parameters were comparable between both groups.

RESULTS: MRI evaluation of joints and tendons of the hindfoot revealed no significant differences in patients with SpA groups for all parameters. Analyzing all joints or tendons together, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups.

CONCLUSION: Low-field and high-field MRI provide comparable information for evaluation of inflammatory hindfoot involvement. Thus, low-field MRI can be considered as a reliable diagnostic tool for the detection of hindfoot abnormalities in SpA patients.

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