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Highly Accessed Open Badges Editorial

Diagnosis of periarticular osteoporosis in rheumatoid arthritis using digital X-ray radiogrammetry

Joachim Böttcher* and Alexander Pfeil

Author Affiliations

Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Erlanger Allee, 07747 Jena, Germany

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:103  doi:10.1186/ar2352

See related research by Hoff et al.,

Published: 24 January 2008


Osteoporosis can manifest in two ways in rheumatoid arthritis: generalized bone loss, which may result from immobility, the inflammatory process per se and/or treatments such as steroids; and periarticular demineralization, which is probably due to local release of inflammatory agents. Digital X-ray radiogrammetry (DXR) is an effective and sensitive modality for monitoring periarticular osteoporosis, which is among the earliest features of rheumatoid arthritis, preceding bone erosions. DXR is a promising technique, which can provide quantitative data that allow early diagnosis. During the course of rheumatoid arthritis it can be deployed in combination with established X-ray scoring methods to inform decisions regarding the optimal therapy to prevent joint destruction.