Objectives The Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) MRI working group (WG) was convened to generate a consensus update on standardised definitions for MRI lesions in the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) of patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA), and to conduct preliminary validation.
Methods The literature pertaining to these MRI lesion definitions was discussed at three meetings of the group. 25 investigators (20 rheumatologists, 5 radiologists) determined which definitions should be retained or required revision, and which required a new definition. Lesion definitions were assessed in a multi-reader validation exercise using 278 MRI scans from the ASAS classification cohort by global assessment (lesion present/absent) and detailed scoring (inflammation and structural). Reliability of detection of lesions was analysed using kappa statistics and the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).
Results No revisions were made to the current ASAS definition of a positive SIJ MRI or definitions for subchondral inflammation and sclerosis. The following definitions were revised: capsulitis, enthesitis, fat lesion and erosion. New definitions were developed for joint space enhancement, joint space fluid, fat metaplasia in an erosion cavity, ankylosis and bone bud. The most frequently detected structural lesion, erosion, was detected almost as reliably as subchondral inflammation (κappa/ICC:0.61/0.54 and 0.60/0.83) . Fat metaplasia in an erosion cavity and ankylosis were also reliably detected despite their low frequency (κappa/ICC:0.50/0.37 and 0.58/0.97).
Conclusion The ASAS-MRI WG concluded that several definitions required revision and some new definitions were necessary. Multi-reader validation demonstrated substantial reliability for the most frequently detected lesions and comparable reliability between active and structural lesions.
- magnetic resonance imaging
- sacroiliac joint
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Handling editor Josef S Smolen
Contributors All authors contributed to the design of the study, review of study data, drafting of the final manuscript and agreed to the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication This consensus-based initiative was done without patient involvement. Patients were not invited to comment on the study design of the MRI reading exercise and were not consulted to interpret the results. Patients were not invited to contribute to the writing or editing of this document for readability or accuracy.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.