Objectives The aim of this study was to asses the Z-Score of computer-aided joint space analysis (CAJSA) as a novel approach for the quantification of finger joint space narrowing and its potential to quantify erosive disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods 186 patients (133 female and 53 male) with a verified RAunderwent computerized semi-automated measurements of finger joint space width by the CAJSA-technique (Radiogrammetry Kit, Version 1.3.6) based radiographs. The Z-Score as an age and gender independent parameter of joint space narrowing was calculated and compared to the Sharp-van der Heijde (SHS) Score.
Results The Z-Scores of finger articulations in patients with RA were generally decreased. MCP-articulations showed a continuous significant decline of -1.65±0.30 SD dependent on SHS. The PIP-joints also revealed a significant reduction of the Z-Score (-0.96±0.31 SD). Additionally, the potential of the technique for detection of erosions was performed and presented a sensitivity and specificity of the Z-Score for JSD-MCP with 85.4% and 55.2%.
Conclusions The Z-Score shows the potential as a surrogate marker of RA progression which comprehends the early identification of patients with RA and inparticular those with erosive course of the disease, enabling a timely therapeutic strategy for cartilage protection.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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