A new ARHP session this year, Radiology Bootcamp, will provide an overview of musculoskeletal imaging and the various modalities commonly used in rheumatology, including their relative advantages and disadvantages. The session, taking place from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm in Room W178b, is designed to appeal to those new to rheumatology, as well as those with more experience who could benefit from an update or refresher course.
“Over the last several years, the criteria for diagnosing arthropathies has evolved, as has the management of these diseases; there have also been significant advances in the field of imaging,” said Gregory Scott Stacy, MD, Professor in the Department of Radiology and Chief of the Section of Musculoskeletal Imaging at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, IL.
Dr. Stacy said the goal of the session is to help rheumatology professionals develop a general approach to evaluating arthritis on conventional radiographs and understand the utility and appropriateness of more advanced imaging modalities in the diagnosis and management of rheumatic and other musculoskeletal diseases.
“Although radiography remains the most common imaging modality to evaluate structural damage resulting from arthritis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography (US) can detect manifestations of arthritic disease, such as inflammation and cartilage destruction, prior to the development of the structural abnormalities seen on conventional radiographs,” he said.
Although the roles of MRI and US are still being defined, Dr. Stacy said that having a basic understanding of the appropriateness of all imaging modalities will allow patients to be evaluated and treated effectively.
“These more advanced modalities have increased our understanding of the pathology contributing to rheumatic disease processes, and allow for earlier detection of arthritis before bones and joints are severely affected, which is key to initiating prompt treatment to minimize structural damage and disability,” Dr. Stacy said. “Understanding the utility and appropriateness of more advanced imaging modalities can help the rheumatologist diagnose disease, monitor treatment response, and perhaps even predict structural damage.”