A Study to Evaluate Utilizing MRI for Earlier Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis


About this study

The primary purpose of this study is to describe the utilization and findings on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the hands and feet in patients with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (based on the ACR 1987 or 2010 classification criteria) compared to the findings seen in patients with seropositive disease (RF or ACPA positive).

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age ≥ 18 years.
  • Undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis suspected to be early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by the evaluating clinician with clinical synovitis of ≥ 1 joint and ≥ 1 other tender joint but not fulfilling classification criteria.
  • Symptom duration ≤ 2 years.
  • Arthralgias suspected to be early RA by the evaluating clinician without clinical evidence of synovitis.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unwillingness or inability to return to Mayo Clinic for research follow-up visits.
  • Current or previous (within the previous 6 months) use ofDMARDs – prednisone (≥ 10 mg/day), methotrexate,hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine, leflunomide, adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, abatacept, tocilizumab, sarilumab, tofacitinib, rituximab, or anakinra.
  • Contraindications to contrast-enhanced MRI ( renal insufficiency with estimated GFR ≤ 60 ml/min/1.73 m², extreme claustrophobia, metal implants or devices that contraindicate MRI).
  • Contraindications to contrast-enhanced PCD-CT (eGFR < 30, history of previous contrast allergic reaction, history of premedication prior to iodinated contrast).
  • Personal history of another definite autoimmune or inflammatory rheumatic disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, vasculitis, gout, or CPPD) diagnosed by a rheumatologist, excluding secondary Sjogren’s syndrome.
  • Women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • Personal history of psoriasis diagnosed by a primary care physician or dermatologist.
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed by a gastroenterologist.
  • Unsuitability to participate in the judgment of a study investigator.

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Kerry Wright, M.B.B.S.

Open for enrollment

Contact information:

Kathleen McCarthy-Fruin M.S.

(507) 284-4797


More information


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