MRI of the cervical spine: Rheumatoid arthritis compared with cervical spondylosis

David Glew, Iain Watt, Paul A Dieppe, Paul R Goddard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study is a comparison of the cervical spine MR images from 26 patients with rheumatoid arthritis of the cervical spine with those from an age and sex matched group suffering from cervical spondylosis. Erosion of bone and major atlanto-axial subluxation were confined to rheumatoid arthritis. Soft tissue changes revealed by MRI included distortion of normal ligaments and bursae around the dens, particularly in rheumatoid arthritis. Abnormal masses of soft tissue were found in both groups, but those suggesting acute inflammation were much more frequent in rheumatoid arthritis than in cervical spondylosis. Neural compression was well demonstrated, and in rheumatoid arthritis was usually caused by bony structures whereas in cervical spondylosis it was usually due to disc material.

    It is concluded that MRI should be used as the first investigation to follow plain films in rheumatoid arthritis of the cervical spine. Bone and soft tissue changes are clearly shown, but interpretation of the images requires the recognition that some observed abnormalities may be due to coincidental cervical spondylosis.
    Translated title of the contributionMRI of the cervical spine. Rheumatoid arthritis compared with cervical spondylosis
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-76
    Number of pages5
    JournalClinical Radiology
    Volume44
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1991

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