What are the radiographic features that are assessed in the evaluation of arthritis?
A common technique of radiographic interpretation includes evaluation of the “ABCDs” of arthritis.
- • A lignment of joints is assessed, including presence of subluxations and dislocations.
- • B ones are carefully assessed for changes in mineralization, presence of erosions, and presence of new bone production (subchondral sclerosis, osteophytes, periostitis).
- • C artilage is indirectly evaluated on radiographs. Joint space narrowing and subchondral bony changes imply presence of cartilage disease.
- • D istribution (proximal vs. distal, symmetry, involvement of specific joints, regions affected within a joint) of the disease process is assessed to better characterize the specific underlying disease process.
- • S oft tissues are evaluated for presence and pattern of swelling and for presence of calcifications.