Radiological assessment of haemophilic arthropathy with emphasis on MRI findings


Ray F. Kilcoyne, MD, Department of Radiology, Mail Stop A-030, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA. Tel.: +1 303 372 6136; fax: +1 303 372 6234; e-mail:


Summary.  Medical imaging of haemophilic joints is important for detecting abnormalities, grading their severity and selecting the appropriate therapy. The plain-film scoring systems for staging joint disease that were developed prior to the availability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are inadequate for planning modern prevention and treatment. MRI is capable of delineating all of the soft tissue findings long before they are evident on plain radiographs. In this paper, an MRI scoring system is presented along with examples of joint effusion, haemarthrosis, synovial hypertrophy, haemosiderin deposition, erosions, cysts and cartilage loss. MRI is a powerful tool in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of patients with haemophilic joint disease.