Structural damage and inflammation on radiographs or magnetic resonance imaging are associated with cortical interruptions on high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography: a study in finger joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and healthy subjects

A. Scharmga, P. Geusens, M. Peters, J. P. van den Bergh, D. Loeffen, T. Schoonbrood, B. van Rietbergen, D. Vosse, R. Weijers, A. van Tubergen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Web of Science)


Objectives: To study the relationship between structural damage and inflammatory features on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or radiography and other risk factors [anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) and/or rheumatoid factor (RF) seropositivity, hand dominance, disease duration] and the presence or number of cortical interruptions in finger joints on high-resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT). Method: Finger joints of 38 healthy subjects and 39 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were examined through radiographs, MRI, and HR-pQCT. Radiographs were scored according to the Sharp/van der Heijde (SvH) method; MRI for the presence of cortical interruptions, bone marrow oedema (BMO), and synovitis; and HR-pQCT images for cortical interruptions. Descriptive statistics were calculated and associations examined using generalized estimating equations. Results: Cortical interruptions were found in healthy subjects and patients with RA on HR-pQCT (mean +/- sd 0.33 +/- 0.63 vs 0.38 +/- 0.64 per joint quadrant, respectively, p <0.01). Structural damage on MRI (cortical interruptions) or radiographs (SvH >= 1) was associated with the presence of cortical interruptions on HR-pQCT [odds ratio (OR) 12.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 7.5-21.4, p <0.01 and OR 4.8, 95% CI 1.9-11.7, respectively, p <0.01]. The presence of BMO or synovitis was associated with more cortical interruptions on HR-pQCT (beta 0.47, 95% CI 0.4-0.6, p <0.01 and beta 1.9, 95% CI 0.6-3.1, p <0.01). In patients with RA, ACPA, and/or RF seropositivity, hand dominance and disease duration were not associated with more cortical interruptions on HR-pQCT. Conclusion: Structural damage and inflammatory features on MRI and radiographs are associated with cortical interruptions on HR-pQCT. No association between other risk factors and cortical interruptions was demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-439
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018


  • HAND
  • RA

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