OBJECTIVE: To report on the progress of an ongoing research collaboration on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and describe the proceedings of a meeting, held prior to Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) 12, bringing together the OMERACT MRI in JIA working group and the Health-e-Child radiology group. The goal of the meeting was to establish agreement on scoring definitions, locations, and scales for the assessment of MRI of patients with JIA for both large and small joints.
METHODS: The collaborative work process included premeeting surveys, presentations, group discussions, consensus on scoring methods, pilot scoring, conjoint review, and discussion of a future research agenda.
RESULTS: The meeting resulted in preliminary statements on the MR imaging protocol of the JIA knee and wrist and determination of the starting point for development of MRI scoring systems based on previous studies. It was also considered important to be descriptive rather than explanatory in the assessment of MRI in JIA (e.g., "thickening" instead of "hypertrophy"). Further, the group agreed that well-designed calibration sessions were warranted before any future scoring exercises were conducted.
CONCLUSION: The combined efforts of the OMERACT MRI in JIA working group and Health-e-Child included the assessment of currently available material in the literature and determination of the basis from which to start the development of MRI scoring systems for both the knee and wrist. The future research agenda for the knee and wrist will include establishment of MRI scoring systems, an atlas of MR imaging in healthy children, and MRI protocol requisites.