The role of radiology in rheumatologic diseases has for many years been confined to conventional radiography alone. The advances in medicine placed great demands on earlier and more accurate evaluation of these diseases. Conventional radiographs have been used as diagnostic aids and radiographic features and measurements are well established. However, the newer technologies, such as ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have recently influenced accuracy of diagnosis and allowed for earlier detection and a more comprehensive evaluation of the results of therapy. One leading example is the significant role MRI plays in the early detection of avascular necrosis, especially of the hips.The clinical benefits of the newer modalities in radiology are being increasingly recognised and its full potential realised by both rheumatologists and radiologists.
Since the discovery of X-rays over a century ago, radiology has played a pivotal role in rheumatology and diseases of the joints. The innovations and advances in technology in imaging and interventional radiology today enable more precise and earlier detection, assessment and treatment.
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