BACKGROUND: Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI provides information on the heterogeneity of the synovium, the primary target of disease in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in the wrist of children with JIA using conventional descriptive measures and time-intensity-curve shape analysis. To explore the association between enhancement characteristics and clinical disease status.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-two children with JIA and wrist involvement underwent dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI with movement-registration and were classified using validated criteria as clinically active (n = 27) or inactive (n = 5). Outcome measures included descriptive parameters and the classification into time-intensity-curve shapes, which represent the patterns of signal intensity change over time. Differences in dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI outcome measures between clinically active and clinically inactive disease were analyzed and correlation with the Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score was determined.
RESULTS: Comprehensive evaluation of disease status was technically feasible and the quality of the dynamic dataset was improved by movement registration. The conventional descriptive measure maximum enhancement differed significantly between clinically active and inactive disease (P = 0.019), whereas time-intensity-curve shape analysis showed no differences. Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score correlated moderately with enhancing volume (P = 0.484).
CONCLUSION: Dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI is a promising biomarker for evaluating disease status in children with JIA and wrist involvement. Conventional descriptive dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI measures are better associated with clinically active disease than time-intensity-curve shape analysis.