Background Here in this case report we present a patient complaining of soft-tissue swelling on his hand, who had excision of giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath 1 year ago which has recurrence rates range from 9%–44%. He also met American Rheumatism Association criteria for rheumatoid arthritis. We described plain radiography and magnetic resonance findings of this soft tissue mass, which firstly presumed to be recurrence of giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath and later on diagnosed to be pannus pathologically and have characteristic radiological findings of pannus.
Methods Radiographs of the hands were undertaken, magnetic resonance imaging was performed on a 1.5 tesla imager using an extremity coil. Magnetic resonance imaging of the hand was performed using SE T1, T2, PD, FL2D 3O sequences and followed by T1 weighted postcontrast examination immediately after Gd-DTPA(0.1 mmol/kg body weight) was injected intravenously as a bolus.
Results Plain films demonstrated cortex erosion on the second metacarpophalangeal joint. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated soft-tissue mass which is isointense with muscles on T1 weighted precontrast images and T2 weighted images showed relatively high signal intensity with heterogeneous enhancement of T1 weighted post-contrast images. Increased synovial fluid was interpreted as tenosynovitis was also demonstrated as well as the cortex erosions.
Conclusion It is established that giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath can be evident in a joint or a tendon sheath of a patient with rheumatoid arthritis. Although this combination of diseases may represent no more than a coincidence, it is possible that rheumatoid arthritis predisposes a person to develop giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath. While evaluating a patient complaining soft tissue mass on his hand with a history of giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath excision, pannus due to rheumatoid arthritis should be considered as well as recurrence of giant cell tumour of the tendon sheath.
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