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Micro magnetic resonance angiography of the finger in systemic sclerosis.



To characterize vascular lesions in SSc disease with high-resolution magnetic resonance angiography (Micro-MRA) of the finger.


Eight SSc subjects and eight age- and sex-matched healthy controls were recruited for this study. Among the SSc subjects, the mean +/- s.d. age was 54.5 +/- 4.9 yrs, and the mean +/- s.d. duration of disease was 8.3 +/- 8.4 yrs. The numbers of SSc subjects that had telangiectasia, calcinosis and impaired finger flexion were 3, 2 and 3, respectively. The 2D time-of-flight micro-MRA was performed on a 3T clinical MRI scanner using a custom-designed finger coil with an in-plane resolution of 0.16 x 0.21 mm(2) and slice thickness of 1.2 mm. The data for the proper palmar digital artery lumen area, the number of visible dorsal digital veins and a semi-quantitative vascular score, which evaluates the overall integrity of digital vessels, were independently evaluated by two experienced reviewers who were blinded to the status of the subject.


Micro-MRA detected significant differences in the digital vasculature between SSc subjects and healthy volunteers. The SSc subjects had a significantly decreased digital artery lumen area (0.13 +/- 0.06 vs 0.53 +/- 0.26 mm(2), P < 0.001), a reduced number of digital veins (0.63 +/- 1.06 vs 3.13 +/- 0.99, P = 0.001) and a lowered overall vascular score (1.75 +/- 1.04 vs 3.5 +/- 0.53, P = 0.001). The study also found that both the digital artery lumen area (Pearson's; r = -0.72, P = 0.044) and vascular scores (Spearman's; rho = -0.75, P = 0.047) of the SSc subjects were inversely correlated with the duration of the disease.


Micro-MRA can be used to identify and quantitatively characterize the vascular disease in SSc fingers. The parameters derived from micro-MRA could potentially be used as prospective biomarkers for clinical evaluation.


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    Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, USA.

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    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 47:8 2008 Aug pg 1239-43


    Magnetic Resonance Angiography
    Middle Aged
    Observer Variation
    Scleroderma, Systemic
    Time Factors

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't



    PubMed ID