Hungarian Radiology

[Rheumatoid arthritis: significance and methodology of cervical spine X-rays in everyday practice]

NÉMETH Ildikó, BUDAY Ilona, MOLNÁR Éva, NYITRAI Márta, SAÁRY Krisztina, TARKOVÁCS Andrea, VARSÁNYI Nóra, FARBAKY Zsófia

SEPTEMBER 20, 2008

Hungarian Radiology - 2008;82(05-06)

[Cervical spine joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis may lead to progressive vertebral instability. It is a severe risk factor for cord compression, which may even lead to sudden death. Many patients with atlantoaxial subluxation may have no symptoms referable to the neck. True degree of subluxation may occur during anaesthesia when the neck muscles are relaxed and protective spasm is absent. The cervical deformities can be visualised on conventional, transoral and functional lateral view in the flexion and extension positions of the neck. The aim of our study is to demonstrate the usefulness of cervical dynamic X-ray for patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. This is the first classical radiological imaging method in the diagnosis and in radiographic follow-up. It is a very important method in the preoperative evaluation to prevent definitive neurologic injury. We describe the method for screening, measuring and grading cervical subluxations and instability in our everyday routine.]

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