Hand Function pp 211-224 | Cite as

Hand Function and Imaging Outcomes

  • Atulya A. DeodharEmail author


Hands are critical for daily functioning for humans but are also a common part of the skeleton to be involved in arthritic processes. Several modalities are available for imaging the hand in confirming the diagnosis, disease progression monitoring, as well as for predicting future function in arthritic conditions. Simple radiography (X-rays), the long-standing gold standard for hands imaging, is cheap, easily available, and well validated for diagnosis and monitoring various arthritic processes by documenting primarily changes in the bones. However, to visualize the pathology in the soft tissues (synovium, tendons, ligaments, etc.) and cartilage, modern imaging modalities such as ultrasonography (US)—gray scale and Doppler—computerized tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are required. US, CT, and MRI have also been shown to be more sensitive for diagnosing and monitoring early stages of arthritis than simple X-rays. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry and digital X-ray radiogrammetry assess disease progression in RA by quantifying changes in hand bone density. Finally, serial hand imaging by any modality is a surrogate measure for future hand function, the important outcome from a patient’s point of view. This chapter reviews the evidence for correlations between hand imaging by different modalities with hand function.


Bone Mineral Density Bone Marrow Edema Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Assessment Questionnaire Bone Edema 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arthritis and Rheumatic DiseasesOregon Health & Science UniversityPortlandUSA

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