New low-field extremity MRI, compacTscan: comparison with whole-body 1.5 T conventional MRI

Takeshi Suzuki, Satoshi Ito, Shinya Handa, Katsumi Kose, Yoshikazu Okamoto, Manabu Minami, Makoto Sugihara, Masanobu Horikoshi, Hiroto Tsuboi, Taichi Hayashi, Daisuke Goto, Isao Matsumoto, Takayuki Sumida
Modern Rheumatology 2010, 20 (4): 331-6
Low-field extremity magnetic resonance imaging (lfMRI) is currently commercially available and has been used clinically to evaluate rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, one disadvantage of this new modality is that the field of view (FOV) is too small to assess hand and wrist joints simultaneously. Thus, we have developed a new lfMRI system, compacTscan, with a FOV that is large enough to simultaneously assess the entire wrist to proximal interphalangeal joint area. In this work, we examined its clinical value compared to conventional 1.5 tesla (T) MRI. The comparison involved evaluating three RA patients by both 0.3 T compacTscan and 1.5 T MRI on the same day. Bone erosion, bone edema, and synovitis were estimated by our new compact MRI scoring system (cMRIS) and the kappa coefficient was calculated on a joint-by-joint basis. We evaluated a total of 69 regions. Bone erosion was detected in 49 regions by compacTscan and in 48 regions by 1.5 T MRI, while the total erosion score was 77 for compacTscan and 76.5 for 1.5 T MRI. These findings point to excellent agreement between the two techniques (kappa = 0.833). Bone edema was detected in 14 regions by compacTscan and in 19 by 1.5 T MRI, and the total edema score was 36.25 by compacTscan and 47.5 by 1.5 T MRI. Pseudo-negative findings were noted in 5 regions. However, there was still good agreement between the techniques (kappa = 0.640). Total number of evaluated joints was 33. Synovitis was detected in 13 joints by compacTscan and 14 joints by 1.5 T MRI, while the total synovitis score was 30 by compacTscan and 32 by 1.5 T MRI. Thus, although 1 pseudo-positive and 2 pseudo-negative findings resulted from the joint evaluations, there was again excellent agreement between the techniques (kappa = 0.827). Overall, the data obtained by our compacTscan system showed high agreement with those obtained by conventional 1.5 T MRI with regard to diagnosis and the scoring of bone erosion, edema, and synovitis. We conclude that compacTscan is useful for diagnosis and estimation of disease activity in patients with RA.

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