What is the role of MRI in the workup of relapsing polychondritis (RP)?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Nicholas Compton, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

MRI has been a useful adjunct in the clinical diagnosis of relapsing polychondritis. MRI is better able to distinguish between edema, fibrosis, and inflammation than is CT scanning.

T1-weighted images, T2-weighted images, and T1-weighted images with gadolinium contrast provide characterization of relapsing polychondritis-related changes in cartilaginous tissues.

MRI also reveals thickening of the thoracic aorta before dilatation occurs.

MRI may be useful for monitoring the effects of treatment.


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