Rheumatoid Arthritis (or RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that currently affects over one million Americans. This disease occurs when the body mistakenly attacks its own body tissues. This disease affects the lining of joints called the synovium. The disease often presents with painful joints. Over time, this can destroy cartilage and bone. It can also affect other body organs such as the heart, eyes, and the lungs. Physicians depend on radiology imaging procedures such as x-rays and MRIs to diagnose and monitor progression of this illness. These invaluable diagnostic tools are utilized in conjunction with blood tests to provide the safest, most effective treatments for patients.
How Radiological Tests Are Used to Guide Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
X-rays can demonstrate RA after bony changes have taken place. An MRI can help doctors detect RA earlier because it shows inflammation, marrow edema, and bone erosion at early stages. In recent years, these tests are even more detailed due to the better images produced by digital X-rays and 3T MRI machines, both available at The Radiology Clinic for our patients. These exams can provide a baseline of the patient’s condition. Then physicians take periodic scans so they can be compared to baseline data to indicate progression of the illness.
Why X-Rays and MRIs are Invaluable in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Most doctors agree that a combination of blood tests, x-rays, and MRI are most beneficial for diagnosing and tracking rheumatoid arthritis. MRI uses magnets create digital images processed by a powerful computer. MRI images are quite clear and very detailed. They are then read by highly qualified radiologists such as the fellowship trained musculoskeletal radiologists at The Radiology Clinic. X-rays also play a role in passing very small doses of radiation into the body and taking pictures using an x-ray machine. These bone x-rays are also be read by radiologists. Both tests provide physicians with much-needed information for diagnosis and treatment options.
The Radiology Clinic
The Radiology Clinic in Rockville, Maryland, has the latest radiographic machines and tests available. Our team strives to provide patients and physicians with a multimodality approach to radiology. We maintain state of the art radiographic equipment including digital x-rays, 3T MRI, CT, and ultrasound. The Radiology Clinic proudly serves the areas of Rockville, Gaithersburg, Potomac, Germantown, Bethesda, the remainder of Montgomery County, and the surrounding areas. Please contact us at 301-217-0500 to schedule an appointment today!