Imaging Modalities and Parameters in Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Mahesh Kumar A S, Mallikarjunaswamy M S, Chandrashekara S


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a kind of inflammatory, an autoimmune disease. Main symptoms of this RA are inflammation, swollen, stiffness and joint pain during morning. RA affects nearby connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and cartilages, finally it results with disability, loss of functionality and morbidity. Different modalities are used for the purpose of detection and diagnosis of RA namely radiography, Computed Tomography (CT), Ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and infrared thermography. The important RA radiographic changes are Joint Space Narrowing (JSW), Bone Erosion (BE), cartilage loss, osteoporosis, soft tissue swelling and misalignment of joints. MRI is highly sensitive to identify soft tissue inflammation and Bone Marrow Edema (BME), bone erosion, inflammation in synovial membrane and joint effusion are the parameters used for the purpose of RA diagnosis. Ultrasound imaging modality being used to find changes in joint effusion, bone erosion, cartilage loss, soft tissue changes and synovitis. IR thermography is considered as fast and effective measuring tool in the RA evaluation and its radiation free, non-contact and non-invasive imaging modality. This modality is useful for early diagnosis and analysis of RA. In this work, a comparison of different modalities and the parameters considered for RA diagnosis are discussed.