Background MRI is a widely used radiological method for assessing muscle involvement in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM). There is still no universally accepted and validated scoring protocol for the quantification of pathological changes in muscles.
Objectives To identify MRI scoring systems used in previous studies. To summarize the most frequently evaluated MRI features and to suggest parameters for a unified scoring system, that has to be validated in the future.
Methods A detailed literature search was conducted in the standard medical databases. Information regarding individual MRI scoring systems were obtained from the methodological explanations and their parameters were compared.
Results We identified different scoring systems with a large variability of assessed localizations and parameters (Table 1). Muscle oedema as a sign of active muscle inflammation was evaluated in all studies. There were some studies using modified Mercuri score for evaluation of the fatty infiltration as a marker of chronic muscle damage or the Goutallier grading (1, 2), developed originally for the assessment of inherited neuromuscular disorders or structural changes in orthopedics. Perifascicular oedema or soft-tissue oedema were also assessed in some cases. There was no concordance between evaluated muscle groups.
Conclusions MRI plays a significant role in the evaluation of pathological changes in IIM. This search demonstrated, that there is no widely used, standardized method for assessment of a MRI finding. According to our results, a future concept of MRI scoring system should include evaluation of muscle oedema, fatty infiltration and possibly also the presence of perifascicular (-fascial) and subcutaneous tissue inflammation. Muscle groups most convenient for evaluation have to be determined as well.
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Zheng Y, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging changes of thigh muscles in myopathy with antibodies to signal recognition particle. Rheumatology, 2015;54(6):1017–1024.
Acknowledgements Supported by the project (Ministry of Health, Czech Republic) for conceptual development of research organization 00023728 (Institute of Rheumatology).
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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