Significant advances continue in the use of magnetic resonance (MR) for diagnostic imaging studies. The most important of these exciting developments will be highlighted in this article.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the appendicular joints provides excellent, detailed resolution of the articular cartilage, synovium, subchondral and cortical bone, and bone marrow.1 The visualization of joints with MR makes possible excellent discrimination between inflammatory and noninflammatory arthritis of the appendicular skeleton, as reported by Stoller and Genant.1 Pannus formation, hemosiderin deposits, early articular erosions, and synovitis become clearly visible.1 The gradient echoes providing T2* effects clearly demonstrate the articular cartilage, which is invisible when using spin-echo T1 and T2 imaging.1
Magnetic resonance imaging is also advantageous in demonstrating the architecture of the spine and, as a result, is helpful in demonstrating metastatic lesions in the vertebrae. Magnetic resonance imaging effectively reveals the presence of