Prolonged time between intravenous contrast administration and image acquisition results in increased synovial thickness at magnetic resonance imaging in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Post-contrast synovial thickness measurement is necessary for scoring disease activity in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). However, the timing of post-contrast sequences varies widely among institutions. This variation in timing could influence thickness measurements.
To measure thickness of the synovial membrane on early and late post-contrast knee magnetic resonance (MR) images of patients with JIA.
Materials and methods
Dynamic contrast-enhanced T1-weighted knee MR images of 53 children with JIA with current or past knee arthritis were used to study synovial thickness at time point 1 (about 1 min) and time point 2 (about 5 min after contrast administration). Two experienced readers, who were blinded for the time point, independently measured synovial thickness at a predefined, marked location in the patellofemoral compartment on randomized images. Synovial thickness at the two time points was compared using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. Repeatibility of the synovial thickness measurements was studied using intraclass correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman plots.
Median synovial thickness of the 53 patients (median age: 13.5 years, 59% female) increased with prolonged post-contrast interval with a synovial thickness of 1.4 mm at time point 1 and a synovial thickness of 1.5 mm at time point 2 (P<0.001). Repeated synovial thickness measurements showed an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.75, P<0.05 for time point 1 and an ICC of 0.91, P<0.05 for time point 2.
Post-contrast synovial membrane thickness measurements are time-dependent. Therefore, standardization of post-contrast image acquisition timing is important to achieve consistent grading of synovial inflammation.
KeywordsAdolescents Children Contrast media Juvenile arthritis Knee joint Magnetic resonance imaging Synovial membrane
This study received funding by the Academic Medical Center through an MD/PhD scholarship awarded to Anouk M. Barendregt.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest