With powerful new therapies available for management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), early diagnosis leading to appropriate treatment may prevent long-term structural joint damage. Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is typically used to assess individual body parts, indications for whole body (WB) MRI are increasing. Its utility as a diagnostic and monitoring tool has already been widely investigated in adult rheumatology patients, but less so in pediatric rheumatologic patients. This paper is a comprehensive review of scoring systems and a proposal for the conceptual development of a WB-MRI scoring system for the evaluation of JIA. In this review we identify, summarize, and critically appraise the available literature on the use of WB-MRI in inflammatory arthritis, addressing relevant considerations on components of a classification system that can lead to the development of a future pediatric WB-MRI scoring system for use in children with JIA. We also discuss advantages and challenges of developing such a WB-MRI scoring system for assessment of JIA and outline next steps toward the conceptual development of this scoring system.
Investigator, CHEO Research Institute