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Simple Erosion Narrowing Score of the hands as a predictor of cervical spine subluxation in rheumatoid arthritis

Author

SA J Radiol. 2020 Jul 27;24(1):1876. doi: 10.4102/sajr.v24i1.1876. eCollection 2020.

Eric Gous 1, Mahmood M T M Ally 2, Pieter W A Meyer 3, Farhana E Suleman 1

Author Information

1 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

2 Department of Rheumatology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

3 Department of Medical Immunology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa.

Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Involvement of the cervical spine is common in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and can lead to devastating or even fatal consequences. Currently no guidelines exist as to whether radiographs of the cervical spine should be included in follow-up visits.

Objectives: To determine whether the Simple Erosion Narrowing Score (SENS) of the hands correlate with the presence of cervical spine subluxation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Method: This was a retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study. A total of 56 rheumatoid arthritis patients with hand radiographs and lateral radiographs of the cervical spine were evaluated. The SENS of the hands and the presence of cervical spine subluxation were compared. The SENS of the hands was correlated with the prevalence of cervical spine subluxation, as was the erosion and joint space narrowing scores of the hands.

Results: A correlation between the SENS of the hands and the prevalence of cervical spine subluxation was confirmed. A higher prevalence of cervical spine subluxation correlated with an increase in the SENS of the hands (p = 0.0002). The erosion and joint space narrowing scores of the hands also correlated with the prevalence of cervical spine subluxation (p = 0.0001).

Conclusion: This study confirmed that a correlation exists between cervical spine subluxation, peripheral joint space erosions and joint space narrowing in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and SENS may therefore be used as a predictor of cervical spine disease.