Richard J. Hodgson1, Nikesh Menon2, Andrew J. Grainger2, Philip O'Connor2, Dennis McGonagle, Philip Helliwell, Paul Emery, Matthew D. Robson3
1LMBRU, University of Leeds, Leeds, Yorkshire, United Kingdom; 2Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; 3University of Oxford
There is increasing interest in quantifying tendon disease in spondyloarthritis. Ultrashort echo time and gradient echo images were acquired from the Achilles tendon of 24 patients and 14 healthy volunteers. Signal intensities at different echo times before and after intravenous gadolinium were normalized to the signal intensity on unenhanced UTE images. Ratios were significantly greater in patients with spondyloarthritis compared to controls. This was most marked on the ratio of the image acquired at TE=2ms to the UTE image. These measurements are straightforward, reproducible and fast and may be useful as potential quantitative biomarkers of tendon disease in spondyloarthritis.