To directly compare and describe the differences between juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients and pediatric controls regarding features of the synovial and tenosynovial membrane on contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the wrist. T1-weighted contrast-enhanced MRI scans of 25 JIA patients with clinically active wrist arthritis and 25 children without a history of joint complaints nor any clinical signs of joint inflammation were evaluated by two readers blinded to clinical data. The synovium was scored at five anatomical sites based on thickening of the synovium (0–3 scale) and synovial enhancement (0–2 scale). Thickening and/or enhancement of the tenosynovium was scored at four anatomical sites using a 0–3 scale. Significantly higher scores for synovial thickening (median 4 vs. 1, p < 0.001) and synovial enhancement (median 4 vs. 1, p < 0.001) are found in the wrist of JIA patients as compared to controls. JIA patients experienced the highest synovial scores at the mid-/inter-carpal, 2nd –5th carpometacarpal, and radiocarpal joints. No significant difference in tenosynovial scores is found between both groups (median 0 vs. 0, p = 0.220). This study highlights the higher synovial thickening/enhancement scores on contrast-enhanced MRI of the wrist in JIA patients compared to pediatric controls. Tenosynovial thickening and/or enhancement was rarely present in both groups. In JIA patients, synovial thickening and enhancement were particularly present at three anatomical sites. These results substantially support rheumatologists and radiologists when navigating through MRI of the wrist in search for JIA disease activity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalRheumatology international
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Wrist

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