RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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An MRI scale for assessment of haemophilic arthropathy from the International Prophylaxis Study Group.

Evaluation of prophylactic treatment of haemophilia requires sensitive methods. To design and test a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scale for haemophilic arthropathy, two scales of a combined MRI scoring scheme were merged into a single scale which includes soft tissue and osteochondral subscores. Sixty-one joint MRI's of 46 patients with haemophilia were evaluated by four radiologists using the new and older scales. Forty-six of the joints were evaluated using two X-ray scales. For all MRI scores, interreader agreement and correlations with X-ray scores and lifetime number of haemarthroses were analysed. The interreader agreement intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.82, 0.89 and 0.88 for the soft tissue and osteochondral subscores and the total score, as evaluated according to the new MRI scale, compared to 0.80 and 0.89 as for the older scales. The total score and osteochondral subscore according to the new scale, as well as scores according to the older scales were correlated (P < 0.01) with number of haemarthroses (Spearman correlation 0.35-0.68) and with the X-ray scores (Spearman correlation 0.40-0.76), but no correlation (P > 0.05) was found between the soft tissue subscore of the new MRI scale and the X-ray scores. The new MRI scale is simpler to apply than the older and has similar reader reliability and correlation with lifetime number of haemarthroses, and by separating soft tissue and osteochondral changes it gives additional information. The new scale is useful for analyses of early and moderate stages of arthropathy, and may help to evaluate prophylactic haemophilia treatment.

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