gms | German Medical Science

47. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie (DGRh), 33. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Orthopädische Rheumatologie (DGORh), 29. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendrheumatologie (GKJR)

04.09. - 07.09.2019, Dresden

Identification of factors associated with magnetic resonance images changes suggestive of axial spondyloarthritis in the axial skeleton of individuals <45 years – evaluation of data from a large community study

Meeting Abstract

  • Xenofon Baraliakos - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne
  • Adrian Richter - Deutsches Rheumforschungszentrum Berlin und Institut für Community Medicine, Greifswald
  • Daniel Feldmann - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne
  • Ott Anne - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne
  • Carsten Oliver Schmidt - Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Greifswald
  • Jürgen Braun - Rheumazentrum Ruhrgebiet, Herne

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Orthopädische Rheumatologie. Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendrheumatologie. 47. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie (DGRh), 33. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Orthopädische Rheumatologie (DGORh), 29. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Kinder- und Jugendrheumatologie (GKJR). Dresden, 04.-07.09.2019. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2019. DocSpA.18

doi: 10.3205/19dgrh233, urn:nbn:de:0183-19dgrh2338

Veröffentlicht: 8. Oktober 2019

© 2019 Baraliakos et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open-Access-Artikel und steht unter den Lizenzbedingungen der Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (Namensnennung). Lizenz-Angaben siehe



Background: Active (bone marrow edema, BME) and structural (fatty lesions, FL) lesions in the spinal and the sacroiliac joints (SIJ), as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have been described in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) but may also occur in non-axSpA patients and healthy individuals (Weber U, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018; De Winter J, et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018). Here we identify factors associated with the occurrence of BME and FL in spinal- and SIJ-MRIs in the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP).

Methods: All available spinal- (sagittal T1/T2 sequences) and SIJ- (semi-coronal STIR sequences) MRIs were evaluated by two trained readers blinded to clinical data. BME (SIJ and spine) and FL (spine) suggestive of axSpA were recorded. Disagreements were resolved by consensus. BME was quantified using Berlin MRI scores. Clinical information was available for age (increase per decade), sex, smoking (ever vs. never), prevalence of spinal pain (NRS≥4/10 in last 3 months), CRP, HLA-B27 status and body mass index (BMI) categories (WHO definition of under- (cat. 1), normal (cat. 2) or overweight (cat. 3)). Associations between clinical factors and MRI lesions were analyzed (a) by modeling of number and size of lesions using negative binomial count regression and (b) for presence/absence of lesions using univariate logistic regression.

Results: MRIs of 793 volunteers, 392 male (49.4%), 45 CRP-positive (5.7%), 67 HLA-B27+ (8.4%), 497 smokers (62.7%) were evaluated. BME lesions were found in 136 SIJ-MRIs (17.2%) and in 218 (27.5%) spinal MRIs, while FL were found in 645 spinal MRIs (81.3%).

A higher number and larger sized SIJ BME lesions were associated (exp(β), lower-upper conficende level) with HLA-B27 (2.8, 1.5-4.9), spinal pain (1.7, 1.2-2.6), and higher BMI (cat. 1 vs 3, 1.7, 1.0-3.0). In the spine, higher number and larger sized BME were associated with age (1.5, 1.2-2.0), while FL were associated with higher BMI, (cat. 1 to cat. 3 (1.9, 1.5-2.2), age (1.6, 1.5-1.8) and male sex (1.4, 1.2-1.6).

Presence (odds ratio, 95% CI) of spinal BME (1.3, 1.0-1.7) and/or FL (1.7, 1.3-2.3) was associated with age, while FL alone were associated with a higher BMI (cat. 1 to cat.3, 3.3, 1.8-6.1).

In total, 22 subjects (16.2%) had large (>33% of surface involvement) and 114 small (≤33% of surface involvement) SIJ-BME lesions. Large SIJ-BME lesions were found in 4.5% HLA-B27-positive vs. 2.6% HLA-B27-negative subjects (p=0.40).

Out of 187 quadrants with BME lesions in SIJ, the majority (n=66, 35.3%) was located in the upper sacral quadrant. Most SIJ lesions (n=156, 83.4%) were small. Out of 362 spinal segments with BME, the majority n=152, 42%) was located in the lower (T7/8-T11/12) thoracic spine. Most spinal lesions (n=329, 90.9%) were small.

Conclusion: In this large population-based study, higher numbers of large SIJ-BME lesions were significantly associated with HLA-B27, back pain and BMI. In some contrast, spinal BME and FL were associated with older age, male sex and BMI but not HLA-B27. The association for HLA B27 was only shown on the quadrant but not on the patient level. These findings are in accordance with previously published hypotheses that question the specificity of sacroiliitis and spondylitis in axSpA (Braun J, et al. Rheumatology. 2018).