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Progressive increase in sacroiliac joint and spinal lesions detected on magnetic resonance imaging in healthy individuals in relation to age

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Objective Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) plays a pivotal role in spondyloarthritis (SpA) diagnosis. However, a detailed description of MRI findings of the sacroiliac (SI) joints and spine in healthy individuals is currently lacking. This study was undertaken to evaluate the occurrence of MRI-detected SI joint and spinal lesions in healthy individuals in relation to age. Methods Ninety-five healthy subjects (ages 20-49 years) underwent MRI of the SI joints and spine. Bone marrow edema (BME) and structural lesions of the SI joints were scored using the Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC) method. Spinal inflammatory and structural lesions were evaluated using the SPARCC MRI spine inflammation index and the Canada-Denmark MRI scoring system, respectively. Fulfillment of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society definition of a positive MRI for sacroiliitis/spondylitis was reviewed. Findings were compared to MRIs of axial SpA patients from the Belgian Inflammatory Arthritis and Spondylitis cohort. Results Of the subjects >= 30 years old, 17.2% fulfilled the definition of a positive MRI for sacroiliitis, but this occurred rarely in younger subjects. SI joint erosions (20.0%) and fat metaplasia (13.7%) were detected across all age groups. Erosions were more frequently visualized in subjects ages >= 40 years (39.3%). Spinal BME (35.7%) and fat metaplasia (28.6%) were common in subjects older than 40 years. Nonetheless, only 1 subject had >= 3 corner inflammatory lesions. SI joint and spinal SPARCC scores and total structural lesions scores increased progressively with age. Conclusion Contrary to what is commonly believed, structural MRI-detected SI joint lesions are frequently seen in healthy individuals. Especially in older subjects, the high occurrence of inflammatory and structural MRI-detected lesions impacts their specificity for SpA, which has important implications for the interpretation of MRIs in patients with a clinical suspicion of SpA.
ISSN: 2326-5205
Issue: 9
Volume: 74
Pagina's: 1506 - 1514
Jaar van publicatie:2022