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A systematic review of MR imaging as a tool for evaluating haemophilic arthropathy in children.

Our purposes were to determine: (i) whether there is direct evidence that currently available MRI techniques are accurate for early diagnosis of pathological findings in haemophilic arthropathy; (ii) whether there is an MRI scoring system that best correlates with clinical/radiological constructs for evaluation of haemophilic arthropathy; (iii) whether there is an MRI scoring system that best correlates with clinical/radiological constructs for evaluation of haemophilic arthropathy. Articles were screened using MEDLINE (n = 566), EMBASE (n = 201), and the Cochrane Library (n = 1). Two independent reviewers assessed articles for inclusion under the overarching purposes of the review by using the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy (STARD) tool, and the quality of the studies were graded using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2) tool. The electronic literature search retrieved 777 references (after duplicates were removed). A total of 32 studies were chosen for inclusion from the results of the search and review of bibliographical references. Using the STARD tool, seven studies were of excellent quality of reporting, and using the QUADAS-2 tool, 10 studies were judged to be of adequate quality. There is 'fair' evidence to recommend MRI as an accurate test for detecting evidence of haemophilic arthropathy and the use of second or third generation MRI scales for assessing haemophilic arthropathy. However, there is no evidence that screening of early intra-articular soft tissue bleed with MRI improves the functional status of joints over time.

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