To develop and validate a new semiquantitative Fluorescence Optical Imaging (FOI) scoring system - the FOI Enhancement-Generated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Score (FOIE-GRAS) for synovitis assessment in the hand.The development of FOIE-GRAS was based on consensus of 4 experts in musculoskeletal imaging. Forty-six RA patients, eligible for treatment intensification and with ≥1 clinically swollen joint in the hands and 11 healthy controls were included. FOI, ultrasound and clinical assessment of both hands were obtained at baseline and for RA patients after 3- and 6-months' follow-up. Twenty RA patients had an FOI rescan after 4 hours. Synovitis was scored using FOIE-GRAS and the OMERACT ultrasound synovitis scoring system. All FOI images were scored by 2 readers. Inter-scan, inter-and intra-reader reliability were determined. Furthermore, FOIE-GRAS agreement with ultrasound and responsiveness was assessed.FOIE-GRAS synovitis was defined as early enhancement and scores based on the degree of coverage of the specific joint region after 3 seconds (0-3). Inter-scan, intra- and inter-reader intraclass correlations coefficients (ICC) were good-excellent for all baseline scores (0.76-0.98) and moderate-to-good for change (0.65-76).The FOIE-GRAS had moderate agreement with ultrasound (ICC 0.30-0.54) for total score, a good standardized response mean (>0.80), and moderate correlation with clinical joint assessment and DAS28-CRP. The median (IQR) reading time per FOI examination was 133 (109;161) seconds. Scores were significantly lower in controls 1(0;4) than RA patients 11(6;19).The FOIE-GRAS offers a feasible and reliable assessment of synovitis in RA, with a moderate correlation with ultrasound and DAS28CRP, and good responsiveness.
Mads Ammitzbøll Danielsen, Daniel Glinatsi, Lene Terslev, Mikkel Østergaard