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Magnetic resonance imaging of the shoulder in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
  1. G J Kieft,
  2. B A Dijkmans,
  3. J L Bloem,
  4. H M Kroon
  1. Department of Diagnostic Radiology, University Hospital, Leiden, The Netherlands.


    To evaluate the ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to detect shoulder abnormalities 18 patients (36 shoulders) with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and shoulder complaints were studied. Osseous abnormalities of the glenoid and humeral head were readily detected with MRI. The imaging planes used were not suitable for the evaluation of acromioclavicular joint involvement. Magnetic resonance imaging depicted soft tissue abnormalities that were not clearly visualised by plain film radiography, such as involvement of rotator cuff tendons and subacromial bursae, joint effusion, and muscular atrophy. Magnetic resonance imaging appears to be a sensitive method for evaluation of glenohumeral joint changes in patients with RA.

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