Assessment of disease activity using a whole-body MRI derived radiological activity index in chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis.


Based on the recently developed ChRonic nonbacterial Osteomyelitis MRI Scoring tool (CROMRIS), we developed a radiological activity index (RAI-CROMRIS) to obtain a quantification of the overall bone involvement in individual patients.


Whole Body Magnetic Resonance Imaging (WB-MRI) images were scored according to parameters included in the RAI-CROMRIS: bone marrow hyperintensity, signal extension, soft tissue/periosteal hyperintensity, bony expansion, vertebral collapse. These parameters were evaluated for each bone unit yielding a score from 0 to 7 and summed up as RAI-CROMRIS including all bone units. We assessed clinical disease activity using a physician global assessment (PGA) and radiological findings in 76 treatment-naïve patients; 46 of 76 were evaluated at 6 and 12 months after initial WB-MRI. Quantitative variables were compared using the Mann-Whitney U test for unmatched groups and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test for paired groups. Correlation was evaluated using Spearman's rank coefficient (rs).


There was a significant correlation between RAI-CROMRIS and PGA (rs = 0.32; p = 0.0055), between RAI-CROMRIS and presence of elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (p = 0.013) and C-reactive protein (p = 0.0001) at baseline. The RAI-CROMRIS decreased from a median of 17 at baseline to 12 at 6 months (p = 0.004) and remained stable (median 11) at 12 months. A correlation between the RAI-CROMRIS and the PGA was observed at baseline (rs = 0.41; p = 0.004) and during follow up at 6 months (rs = 0.33; p = 0.025) and 12 months (rs = 0.38; p = 0.010). The baseline RAI-CROMRIS (median 20) was significantly higher in patients who subsequently received bisphosphonates than in patients who received other treatments (median 12) and decreased significantly after bisphosphonates (p = 0.008).


The RAI-CROMRIS was correlated with clinical and laboratory measures of disease activity showing significant short-term changes following treatment with bisphosphonates. This tool could be used in clinical practice and clinical trials after validation.

© 2021. The Author(s).

Overview publication

TitleAssessment of disease activity using a whole-body MRI derived radiological activity index in chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis.
Issue namePediatric rheumatology online journal
Issue numberv19.1:123
AuthorsCapponi M, Pires Marafon D, Rivosecchi F, Zhao Y, Pardeo M, Messia V, Tanturri de Horatio L, Tomà P, De Benedetti F & Insalaco A
KeywordsCROMRIS, Children, Chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis, Disease activity, PGA, Whole body magnetic resonance imaging
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