MRI Recommendations

UK recommendations developed to help clinicians make the best use of MRI in the diagnosis of axial Spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) are now published in Rheumatology (Oxford). These recommendations are the work of an expert task force of UK based rheumatologists and radiologists assembled by the British Society for Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA) with the aim to standardise and improve the use of MRI in axial SpA to facilitate an early and more accurate diagnosis of this disabling condition.

In a news release, lead author Dr Pedro Machado, principal investigator at the Centre for Rheumatology, UCL Division of Medicine, and at the Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, said this consensus will help standardise and decrease heterogeneity around the use of MRI in patients. “These recommendations can be immediately applied to clinical practice and they can contribute to the early diagnosis of axial SpA and to the achievement of better health outcomes by these patients,” said Dr Machado.

The task force convenor and Chair of the British Society for Spondyloarthritis (BRITSpA), Dr Helena Marzo-Ortega said: “This is an excellent example of collaborative work between rheumatologists and radiologists to improve and standardise care for people affected by axial SpA across the UK.”

Two publications are now available through Rheumatology (Oxford) website: the main paper outlining the recommendations (Read here) for acquisition and interpretation of MRI of the spine and sacroiliac joints in the diagnosis of axial SpA and the systematic literature review (Read here) performed to inform the formulation of these recommendations. Both papers were presented at the BSR Annual Rheumatology Meeting that took place at The International Convention Centre (ICC), in Birmingham on Apr 30 – May 02, 2019.

The next step now is to disseminate these recommendations more widely in order to make sure that they are applied in clinical practice. As a clinician or allied health professional working with people affected by axial SpA, BRITSpA would like to encourage you to discuss this new guidance with your rheumatology and radiology colleagues. If you would like further information or support on how to spread this work please contact