Researchers sought to determine the link between four quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parameters derived from intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted images (IVIM DWI) and the semi-quantitative Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC) score of the sacroiliac joint (SIJ) and five clinical activity indices in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). The findings were published in Clinical Radiology.

In this prospective study, researchers recruited 75 patients with axSpA, and complete clinical activity indices and SIJ MRI. They used linear regression analyses to discern correlations between MRI parameters and clinical activity indices after controlling for confounders.

According to the results, pure diffusion coefficient (D) and incoherent perfusion related microcirculation (D∗) were independently positively correlated with several clinical activity indices. The researchers noted that positive correlations were observed between D and the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI), Patient Global Assessment (PGA), and extent of influence of pain.

“IVIM DWI may be a useful tool for the quantitative assessment of disease activity in patients with axSpA,” the researchers concluded.


Keywords: magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion-weighted images, axial spondyloarthritis