Background HR-pQCT is a high resolution CT dedicated to human extremities. It has been used mainly for osteoporosis, while in more recent years it has been applied to research in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Objectives The purpose of this study is to develop a method to quantify the volume of erosions in RA patients semiautomatically using second generation HR-pQCT.
Methods Twenty patients with RA (70±8 years, 15 female, 5 male) participated in this study. The second and third MCP joints were scanned using HR-pQCT (XtremeCT II, Scanco Medical, Switzerland) at the voxel size of 61μm.
The erosion volume was measured semiautomatically using the dedicated software (TRI/3D-BON, Ratoc System Engineering, Tokyo).
All concave regions on the bone surface around the MCP joints were extracted automatically by subtracting the bone region from the smoothed bone model. Erosions were selected manually by a medical doctor based on certain criteria. The volume of the erosions were measured by voxel counting.
Results In a total of 37 joints (3 joints were excluded due to severe deformities), 40 erosions were detected by HR-pQCT (phalanx side: 9 erosions, metacarpal side: 31 erosions). The average volume of the erosions was 1.84mm3, minimum 0.08mm3, and maximum 16.3mm3.
Conclusions The semiautomatic method to quantify the volume of erosions at MCP joints in RA patients by HR-pQCT was developed.
The opinion as to whether concave regions are pathological erosion or physiological concave, vascular channel or recess of osteophyte is occasionally difficult and should be performed by an experienced tester.
Disclosure of Interest None declared