Objective: To determine whether MRI is able to demonstrate the effect of radiation synovectomy after the intra-articular injection of holmium-166-chitosan complex for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis of the knee. Materials and Methods: Fourteen patients aged 36-59 years were treated with 10-20 mCi of holmium-166-chitosan complex. A criterion for inclusion in this study was the absence of observable improvement after 3- or more months of treatment of the knee with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. MR images were acquired both prior to and 4-months after treatment. Clinical evaluation included the use of visual analog scales to assess pain, and the circumference of the knee and its range of motion were also determined. MR evaluation included measurement of the volume of synovial enhancement and wall thickness, the amount of joint effusion, and quantifiable scoring of bone erosion, bone edema and lymph nodes. Results: Visual analog scale readings decreased significantly after radiation synovectomy (p < 0.05). MRI showed that joint effusion decreased significantly (p < 0.05), and that the volume of synovial enhancement tended to decrease, but to an insignificant extent (p = 0.107). Conclusion: The decreased joint effusion noted at 4-month follow-up resulted from radiation synovectomy of the rheumatoid knee by means of intra-articular injection of holmium-166-chitosan complex.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging