Background/Purpose Image fusion is an advanced imaging technology, which enables fusion of ultrasound (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This fusion gives for each US probe position an exact projection of the corresponding anatomical area on a previously obtained MR image, during a live US assessment. This study is the first to address image fusion of US and MRI tenosynovitis.
The aim of this study was to assess and compare US and MRI visualisation of tenosynovitis using image fusion technique.
Methods Fifteen rheumatoid arthritis patients with US verified tenosynovitis in the wrist or hand had an MRI performed of the affected wrist or hand. A subsequent image fusion was performed, i.e. the MR images and a live US assessment of one tendon sheath were fused. In order to compare the two imaging modalities quantitatively, the area of the tendon and tendon sheath in the transverse axis was measured on US and MRI for each image fusion. Due to partial volume artefacts (voxel containing two different tissues and therefore possessing a signal average of tendon and tendon sheath) on MRI two measures were performed; area 1) the circumference of the black tendon, i.e. excluding voxels containing two types of tissue 2) the circumference of the grey line that surrounds the black tendon, i.e. including voxels containing two types of tissue. Tenosynovitis was assessed using the proposed OMERACT semi-quantitative scoring system for US and MRI. US scoring was therefore based on both grey scale and Doppler, whereas MRI scoring was based only on post-contrast tenosynovial enhancement, measured as distance from the tendon to end of the enhanced tendon sheath.
Results The median circumference area of the tendons and tendon sheaths on US and MRI 1 and 2 were respectively 0.16 (25;75 pctl: 0.10;0.25), 0.9 (0.06–0.18) and 0.13 of (0.10;0.25) for the tendons and 0.18 (0.13–0.26), 0.27 (0.20–0.45) and 0.23 (0.16–0.40) for the tendon sheaths. Statistically significant differences were found for all measured areas between US and MRI, except for the US tendon area and the MRI tendon area 2 (Wilcoxon's test; p=0.47). Overall agreement between US and MRI tenosynovitis scoring systems was good (see table 1).
Conclusion In conclusion, we found that US and MRI have good agreement for quantitative assessment of tendons and scoring of tenosynovitis, when comparing the two modalities using image fusion, if the partial volume artefacts on MRI are included in the measure.
Disclosure of Interest None declared