Clinical Policy Bulletin: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Extremities
Aetna considers magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the knee medically necessary when any of the following criteria is met:
Detection, staging, and post-treatment evaluation of tumor of the knee; or
Fitting of implants for total knee arthroplasty; or
Persistent knee pain/swelling and/or instability (giving way) not associated with an injury and not responding to at least 3 weeks of conservative therapy; or
Persistent knee pain/swelling and/or instability (giving way) secondary to an injury and not responding to conservative therapy when multi-view x-rays have ruled out a fracture or loose body in the knee and the clinical picture remains uncertain. Conservative therapy consists of a combination of rest, ice, compression, elevation, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), crutches, and range of motion (ROM) exercises; or
Persistent true locking of the knee indicative of a torn meniscus or loose body. (True locking is defined as more than a momentary locking of the joint with the knee in a flexed position, as compared to the sensation of momentary “catching” that many individuals experience in extension.); or
Suspected bone infection (i.e., osteomyelitis); or
Suspected osteochondritis dissecans or suspected osteonecrosis, if the clinical picture, including x-rays, is not confirmatory.
Aetna considers knee MRI experimental and investigational for all other indications, including any of the following circumstances because its effectiveness for indications other than the ones listed above has not been established:
If arthroscopy or ligament reconstruction is definitely planned and the MRI findings are unlikely to change the planned treatment; or
If the clinical picture (i.e., history, physical examination, x-rays, etc.) is diagnostic with high degree of certainty of a torn meniscus, loose body, or osteochondritis dessicans; or
To diagnose or evaluate rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative joint disease.
Aetna considers MRI of the extremities (e.g., hands, knees, feet, etc.) experimental and investigational for diagnosing or monitoring arthritis because its effectiveness for these indications has not been established.
Aetna considers MRI experimental and investigational for the diagnosis of chronic exertional compartment syndrome and suspected upper extremity deep vein thrombosis because its effectiveness for this indication has not been established.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become the premier orthopedic diagnostic tool used in detecting meniscal and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and has virtually replaced both arthrography and arthroscopy as the diagnostic test of choice.
According to established guidelines from the American College of Rheumatology (2002), disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) should be followed using standard X-rays of the extremities. There is no adequate evidence from prospective clinical studies that clinical outcomes are improved by using MRI over standard X-rays for this indication. Although several studies have shown that MRI can detect early osseous changes, prospective clinical studies are needed to determine how well these early changes can predict development of clinically significant disease, and to determine whether clinical outcomes are improved by initiating therapy in persons with normal X-rays based on MRI findings. McQueen et al (2001) found that only 25 % of changes detected by MRI progressed to X-ray erosions. These results raise questions about the nature and pathophysiologic basis of the osseous changes detected by MRI, whether one can predict which of these osseous changes will progress to X-ray erosions, and about the nature of the changes detected by MRI that do not progress to X-ray erosions.
In addition, prospective clinical studies are necessary to determine whether clinical outcomes are improved by using MRI over standard X-rays to monitor disease progression in persons with RA. Goldbach-Mansky et al (2003) of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases concluded that “[c]areful validation of MRI findings and the evaluation of MRI as a tool to follow the effect of therapy remain to be performed before MRI may be used as a clinical tool to follow therapy or as a surrogate for evaluating osseous changes over time.” Boutry et al (2005) evaluated prospectively the use of MRI for differentiating true RA from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or primary Sjogren syndrome in patients who have inflammatory polyarthralgia of the hands but no radiographic evidence of RA. They concluded that it may be impossible to distinguish between patients with early RA and those without RA (namely those with SLE or primary Sjogren syndrome) by means of MRI. Graham et al (2005) reported that determining synovial volume in the hand and wrist in patients (n = 10) with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis by MRI is feasible and correlates with total hand swelling assessed on physical examination. However, these investigators stated that inconsistent or poor correlation with other clinical variables and the clinical definition of improvement requires further study.
Extremity MRI is not considered medically necessary to monitor the progression of arthritis. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Guidelines for the Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (2002) lists X-rays as the appropriate method of monitoring disease progression. MRI of the arms and legs may be appropriate for the evaluation of masses, localized infections, non-healing fractures of long bones, and in certain cases, preoperative planning. Furthermore, the report on extremity MRI in RA by the ACR Extremity MRI Task Force (2006) stated that most of the literature assessing the utility of peripheral joint MRI has used high-field, not low-field extremity MRI; therefore, actual sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of the low-field scanners available for the practicing rheumatologists are not known. The report also noted that the marginal benefit of low-field extremity MRI above and beyond standard measures of disease activity and severity (e.g., medical history, physical examination, selective laboratory testing, and radiography of the hands and wrists) has not been rigorously examined in studies published to date. In summary, the benefits of low-field strength extremity MRI for the diagnosis and management of RA are still being elucidated.
More recently, guidance on the management of rheumatoid arthritis from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2009) recommended X-ray the hands and feet early in the course of the disease in people with persistent synovitis in these joints. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN, 2011) concluded that "[t]he evidence for additional imaging at diagnosis to assess disease activity in early RA [rheumatoid arthritis] is limited and methodologically poor. The evidence suggests that power Doppler ultrasound may be useful in assessing disease activity and may have predictive value on radiological outcome." SIGN (2010) guidelines on psoriatic arthritis make no recommendation for magnetic resonance imaging of extremities.
This is consistent with the comments in a recent UpToDate review of the management of rheumatoid arthritis (Venables and Maini, 2011) which states that, although "magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a more sensitive technique than plain radiography for identifying bone erosions ... the clinical significance of erosions only detected by MRI awaits elucidation." Another recent UpToDate review of management of rheumatoid arthritis by Schur et al (2011) stated that although "magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) [is] more sensitive for the detection of cartilage and bone abnormalities ... [it's] role in the process of making therapeutic decisions is presently under investigation."
There has been concern regarding the overuse of MRI. MRI has come to be perceived by many doctors and patients as the initial and the sine qua non diagnostic tool prior to surgical treatment. However, MRI should not be used as a routine screening tool in all knee injuries. Its use should be reserved for clinical situations in which the diagnosis remains in doubt. MRI does not replace a thorough history and physical examination and traditional multi-view x-rays as primary diagnostic tools. In a randomized controlled study (n = 87), Nikken and colleagues (2005) concluded that short MRI examination with a low-field-strength MRI system after radiography in initial evaluation of patients with acute wrist trauma has additional value in prediction of treatment need; however, it does not have value in identification of patients who can be discharged without further follow-up. In a randomized controlled study (n = 109), Oei and associates (2005) concluded that implementation of a dedicated extremity MRI examination, in addition to or instead of radiography, performed in patients with traumatic knee injury improves prediction of the need for additional treatment but does not significantly aid in identification of patients who can be discharged without further follow-up. They stated that value of a short MRI examination in the initial stage after knee trauma is limited.
Andrish (1996) stated that isolated meniscal injuries are rare in children under the age of 14, but the frequency increases thereafter. Meniscal tears in children are frequently associated with congenital meniscal abnormalities, while those in adolescents are often associated with ligamentous injuries of the knee. The combination of recurrent and often dramatic popping and intermittent episodes of locking has been termed the "snapping knee syndrome", and is almost invariably associated with a discoid meniscus. Although double-contrast arthrography has proved to be a reliable diagnostic technique, MRI is now the modality of choice. In this regard, Connolly et al (1996) had described the MRI appearance and associated abnormalities of discoid menisci in children. They noted that discoid meniscus commonly occurs bilaterally. High intra-meniscal signal is found, especially in symptomatic patients. The size criteria for diagnosing this condition in children are similar to those for adults.
In a prospective study, McNally et al (2002) examined if MRI of the acutely locked knee can alter surgical decision-making. The study group comprised patients with a clinical diagnosis of knee locking requiring arthroscopy. The decision to perform arthroscopy was made by an experienced consultant orthopedic surgeon specializing in trauma and recorded in the patient's notes prior to MRI. Pre-operative MRI was carried out using a 1.5 T system. The management was altered from surgical to conservative treatment in 20 (48 %) patients on the basis of the MR findings. Arthroscopy was limited to patients with an MR diagnosis of a mechanical block, usually a displaced meniscal tear or loose body. Both patient groups were followed clinically until symptoms resolved. A total of 42 patients were entered into the study. MRI identified a mechanical cause for locking in 22 patients (21 avulsion meniscal tears and 1 loose body). All were confirmed at arthroscopy. Twenty patients were changed from operative to non-operative treatment on the basis of the MRI findings. One patient in this group required a delayed arthroscopy for an impinging anterior cruciate ligament stump. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of MRI in identifying patients who require arthroscopy was 96, 100, and 98 %, respectively. These investigators concluded that MRI can successfully segregate patients with a clinical diagnosis of mechanical locking into those who have a true mechanical block and those who can be treated conservatively. They stated that MRI should precede arthroscopy in this clinical setting.
Schurmann et al (2007) stated that complex regional pain syndrome type I (CRPS I) is difficult to diagnose in post-traumatic patients. As CRPS I is a clinical diagnosis the characteristic symptoms have to be differentiated from normal post-traumatic states. These researchers compared several diagnostic procedures for diagnosing post-traumatic CRPS I. A total of 158 patients with distal radial fracture were included in this study. A detailed clinical examination was carried out 2, 8, and 16 weeks after trauma in conjunction with bilateral thermography, plain radiographs of the hand skeleton, three phase bone scans (TPBSs), and contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). All imaging procedures were assessed blinded. At the end of the observation period, 18 patients (11 %) were clinically identified as having CRPS I and 13 patients (8 %) revealed an incomplete clinical picture which were defined as CRPS borderline cases. The sensitivity of all diagnostic procedures used was poor and decreased between the first and the last examinations (thermography: 45 % to 29 %; TPBS: 19 % to 14 %; MRI: 43 % to 13 %; bilateral radiographs: 36 %). In contrast, a high specificity was observed in the TPBS and MRI at the 8th and 16th-week examinations (TPBS: 96 %, 100 %; MRI: 78 %, 98 %) and for bilateral radiographs 8 weeks after trauma (94 %). Thermography presented a fair specificity that improved from the 2nd to the 16th week (50 % to 89 %). The authors concluded that the poor sensitivity of all tested procedures combined with a reasonable specificity produced a low positive predictive value (17 % to 60 %) and a moderate negative predictive value (79 % to 86 %). These results suggested that those procedures can not be used as screening tests. Imaging methods are not able to reliably differentiate between normal post-traumatic changes and changes due to CRPS I. Clinical findings remain the gold standard for the diagnosis of CRPS I and the procedures described above may serve as additional tools to establish the diagnosis in doubtful cases.
Tsai and Beredjiklian (2008) noted that arthritis of the thumb joints is a common problem and remains a significant cause of morbidity in the adult population. Careful physical examination is critical in the evaluation of these individuals, given the large differential diagnosis of conditions affecting the thumb and the radial side of the wrist. Because treatment should be specifically directed at the area of pathology, adequate diagnosis is vital. Plain radiograph examination remains the diagnostic modality of choice in the evaluation of patients with degenerative conditions regarding the hand and wrist.
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine's clinical guideline on "Hand, wrist, and forearm disorders not including carpal tunnel syndrome" (2011) does not recommend MRI for diagnosing tuft fractures as well as phalangeal and metacarpal fractures.
Aweid et al (2012) stated that although all intra-compartmental pressure (ICP) measurement, MRI, and near-infrared spectroscopy seem to be useful in confirming the diagnosis of chronic exertional compartment syndrome (CECS), no standard diagnostic procedure is currently universally accepted. These researchers reviewed systematically the relevant published evidence on diagnostic criteria commonly in use for CECS to address 3 main questions: (i) Is there a standard diagnostic method available? (ii) What ICP threshold criteria should be used for diagnosing CECS? and (iii) What are the criteria and options for surgical management? Finally, these investigators made statements on the strength of each diagnostic criterion of ICP based on a rigorous standardized process. The authors searched for studies that investigated ICP measurements in diagnosing CECS in the leg of human subjects, using PubMed, Score, PEDRO, Cochrane, Scopus, SportDiscus, Web of Knowledge, and Google Scholar. Initial searches were performed using the phrase, "chronic exertional compartment syndrome". The phrase "compartment syndrome" was then combined, using Boolean connectors ("OR" and "AND") with the words "diagnosis", "parameters", "levels", "localisation," or "measurement". Data extracted from each study included study design, number of subjects, number of controls, ICP instrument used, compartments measured, limb position during measurements, catheter position, exercise protocol, timing of measurements, mean resting compartment pressures, mean maximal compartment pressures, mean post-exercise compartment pressures, diagnostic criteria used, and whether a reference diagnostic standard was used. The quality of studies was assessed based on the approach used by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in judging the quality of diagnostic studies, and recommendations were made regarding each ICP diagnostic criteria in the literature by taking into account the quality and quantity of the available studies proposing each criterion. A total of 32 studies were included in this review. The studies varied in the ICP measurement techniques used; the most commonly measured compartment was the anterior muscle compartment, and the exercise protocol varied between running, walking, and ankle plantarflexion and dorsiflexion exercises. Pre-exercise, mean values ranged from 7.4 to 50.8 mm Hg for CECS patients, and 5.7 to 12 mm Hg in controls; measurements during exercise showed mean pressure readings ranging from 42 to 150 mm Hg in patients and 28 to 141 mm Hg in controls. No overlap between subjects and controls in mean ICP measurements was found at the 1-min post-exercise timing interval only showing values ranging from 34 to 55.4 mm Hg and 9 to 19 mm Hg in CECS patients and controls, respectively. The quality of the studies was generally not high, and the researchers found the evidence for commonly used ICP criteria in diagnosing CECS to be weak. The authors concluded that studies in which an independent, blinded comparison is made with a valid reference standard among consecutive patients are yet to be undertaken. There should also be an agreed ICP test protocol for diagnosing CECS because the variability here contributes to the large differences in ICP measurements and hence diagnostic thresholds between studies. Current ICP pressure criteria for CECS diagnosis are therefore unreliable, and emphasis should remain on good history. However, clinicians may consider measurements taken at 1 min after exercise because mean levels at this timing interval only did not overlap between subjects and controls in the studies that were analyzed. Levels above the highest reported value for controls here (27.5 mm Hg) along with a good history, should be regarded as highly suggestive of CECS. The authors stated that it is evident that to achieve an objective recommendation for ICP threshold, there is a need to set up a multi-center study group to reach an agreed testing protocol and modify the preliminary recommendations they have made.
CPT Codes / HCPCS Codes / ICD-9 Codes
Magnetic resonance of knee:
CPT codes covered if selection criteria are met:
73721 - 73723
Other CPT codes related to the CPB:
27427 - 27429
27437 - 27447
29870 - 29889
ICD-9 codes covered if selection criteria are met:
Malignant neoplasm of connective tissue of lower limb, including hip
Malignant neoplasm of lower limb
Other benign neoplasm of lower limb, including hip
Neoplasm of uncertain behavior of bone and articular cartilage
Old bucket handle tear of medial meniscus
Derangement of anterior horn of medial meniscus
Derangement of posterior horn of medial meniscus
Other and unspecified derangement of medial meniscus
717.40 - 717.49
Derangement of lateral meniscus
Derangement of meniscus, not elsewhere classified
Loose body in knee
Other joint derangement, not elsewhere classified
Effusion of joint, lower leg
Pain in joint, lower leg
Chronic osteomyelitis of lower leg
Other aseptic necrosis of bone
836.0 - 836.2
Tear of cartilage or meniscus of knee
ICD-9 codes not covered for indications listed in the CPB:
714.0 - 714.9
Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory polyarthropathies
Osteoarthrosis, localized, primary, lower leg
Osteoarthrosis, localized, secondary, lower leg
Osteoarthrosis, localized, not specified whether primary or secondary
Osteoarthrosis, unspecified whether generalized or localized
Chondromalacia of patella
717.81 - 717.89
Other internal derangement of knee
Other ICD-9 codes related to the CPB:
Unspecified internal derangement of knee
MRI of extremities:
CPT codes not covered for indications listed in the CPB:
73218 - 73223
73718 - 73723
ICD-9 codes not covered for indications listed in the CPB:
714.0 - 714.9
Rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory polyarthropathies
Nontraumatic compartment syndrome of upper extremity
Nontraumatic compartment syndrome of lower extremity
Traumatic compartment syndrome of upper extremity
Traumatic compartment syndrome of lower extremity
The above policy is based on the following references:
Bureau NJ, Kaplan PA, Dussault RG. MRI of the knee: A simplified approach. Current Prob Diagnos Radiol. 1995;24(1):1-49.
Lipcamon J. MRI's role in evaluating knee anatomy and injuries. Radiol Technol. 1994;66(2):91-102.
Crenshaw A. Campbell's Operative Orthopedics. 8th ed. Chicago, IL: Mosby Year Book; 1992;3:1523.
Bonamo JJ, Saperstein AL. Contemporary magnetic resonance imaging of the knee: The orthopedic surgeon's perspective. Magn Resn Imag Clin North Am. 1994;2(3):481-495.
Swenson J. Diagnosing and managing meniscal injuries in athletes. J Muscuoloskel Med. 1995;12(5):34-45.
Doyle R, Feren A. Milliman and Robertson, Inc. Health Care Management Guidelines (3). Ambulatory Care Guidelines. Seattle, WA: Milliman and Robertson; 1994:2.68.
Tehranzadeh J, Kerr R, Amster J. MRI of trauma and sports-related injuries of tendons and ligaments part II: Pelvis and lower extremities. Crit Rev Diagnost Imaging. 1994;35(2):131-200.
Sharpe I, Tyrrell PN, White SH. Magnetic resonance imaging assessment for unicompartmental knee replacement: A limited role. Knee. 2001;8(3):213-218.
Bryan S, Weatherburn G, Bungay H, et al. The cost-effectiveness of magnetic resonance imaging for investigation of the knee joint. Health Technol Assess. 2001;5(27):1-95.
Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care (SBU). MRI for knee injuries and nonspecific knee problems - early assessment briefs (Alert). Stockholm, Sweden: SBU; 2001.
GUIPCAR Group. Clinical practice guideline for the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Madrid, Spain: Spanish Society of Rheumatology; 2001.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR). Guidelines for the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Updated 2002. Atlanta, GA: ACR; 2002. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/publications/guidelines/index.asp?aud=mem. Accessed February 9, 2004.
National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis: The management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults. NICE Clinical Guideline No. 79. London, UK: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); February 2009.
Hoving JL, Buchbinder R, Hall S, et al. A comparison of magnetic resonance imaging, sonography, and radiography of the hand in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2004;31(4):663-675.
Benton N, Stewart N, Crabbe J, et al. MRI of the wrist in early rheumatoid arthritis can be used to predict functional outcome at 6 years. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004;63(5):555-561.
Tehranzadeh J, Ashikyan O, Dascalos J. Advanced imaging of early rheumatoid arthritis. Radiol Clin North Am. 2004;42(1):89-107.
Taouli B, Zaim S, Peterfy CG, et al. Rheumatoid arthritis of the hand and wrist: comparison of three imaging techniques. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2004;182(4):937-943.
Ostrowitzki S, Redei J, Lynch JA, et al. Use of multispectral magnetic resonance imaging analysis to quantify erosive changes in the hands of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Short-term and long-term longitudinal studies. Arthritis Rheum. 2004;50(3):716-724.
Goldbach-Mansky R, Mahadevan V, Yao L, Lipsky PE. The evaluation of bone damage in rheumatoid arthritis with magnetic resonance imaging. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2003;21(5 Suppl 31):S50-S53.
Wakefield RJ, Kong KO, Conaghan PG, et al. The role of ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging in early rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2003;21(5 Suppl 31):S42-S49.
Schumacher HR, Pessler F, Chen LX. Diagnosing early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). What are the problems and opportunities? Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2003;21(5 Suppl 31):S15-S19.
Hermann KG, Backhaus M, Schneider U, et al. Rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder joint: comparison of conventional radiography, ultrasound, and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging. Arthritis Rheum. 2003;48(12):3338-3349.
Taylor PC. The value of sensitive imaging modalities in rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2003;5(5):210-213.
Ostergaard M, Hansen M, Stoltenberg M, et al. New radiographic bone erosions in the wrists of patients with rheumatoid arthritis are detectable with magnetic resonance imaging a median of two years earlier. Arthritis Rheum. 2003;48(8):2128-2131.
Forslind K, Johanson A, Larsson EM, Svensson B. Magnetic resonance imaging of the fifth metatarsophalangeal joint compared with conventional radiography in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. Scand J Rheumatol. 2003;32(3):131-137.
Maillefert JF, Dardel P, Cherasse A, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging in the assessment of synovial inflammation of the hindfoot in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other polyarthritis. Eur J Radiol. 2003;47(1):1-5.
McQueen F, Lassere M, Edmonds J, et al. OMERACT Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies. Summary of OMERACT 6 MR Imaging Module. J Rheumatol. 2003;30(6):1387-1392.
Ostergaard M, Peterfy C, Conaghan P, et al. OMERACT Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies. Core set of MRI acquisitions, joint pathology definitions, and the OMERACT RA-MRI scoring system. J Rheumatol. 2003;30(6):1385-1386.
Bird P, Ejbjerg B, McQueen F, et al. OMERACT Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies. Exercise 5: An international multicenter reliability study using computerized MRI erosion volume measurements. J Rheumatol. 2003;30(6):1380-1384.
Conaghan P, Lassere M, Ostergaard M, et al. OMERACT Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies. Exercise 4: An international multicenter longitudinal study using the RA-MRI Score. J Rheumatol. 2003;30(6):1376-1379.
Lassere M, McQueen F, Ostergaard M, et al. OMERACT Rheumatoid Arthritis Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies. Exercise 3: An international multicenter reliability study using the RA-MRI Score. J Rheumatol. 2003;30(6):1366-1375.
Peterfy CG. Is there a role for extremity magnetic resonance imaging in routine clinical management of rheumatoid arthritis? J Rheumatol. 2004;31(4):640-644.
Andrish JT. Meniscal injuries in children and adolescents: Diagnosis and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1996;4(5):231-237.
Connolly B, Babyn PS, Wright JG, Thorner PS. Discoid meniscus in children: Magnetic resonance imaging characteristics. Can Assoc Radiol J. 1996;47(5):347-354.
McQueen FM, Benton N, Crabbe J, et al. What is the fate of erosions in early rheumatoid arthritis? Tracking individual lesions using x rays and magnetic resonance imaging over the first two years of disease. Ann Rheum Dis. 2001;60(9):859-868.
McNally EG, Nasser KN, Dawson S, Goh LA. Role of magnetic resonance imaging in the clinical management of the acutely locked knee. Skeletal Radiol. 2002;31(10):570-573.
Nikken JJ, Oei EH, Ginai AZ, et al. Acute wrist trauma: Value of a short dedicated extremity MR imaging examination in prediction of need for treatment. Radiology. 2005;234(1):116-124.
Oei EH, Nikken JJ, Ginai AZ, et al. Acute knee trauma: Value of a short dedicated extremity MR imaging examination for prediction of subsequent treatment. Radiology. 2005;234(1):125-133.
Boutry N, Hachulla E, Flipo RM, et al. MR imaging findings in hands in early rheumatoid arthritis: Comparison with those in systemic lupus erythematosus and primary Sjogren syndrome. Radiology. 2005;236(2):593-600.
Graham TB, Laor T, Dardzinski BJ. Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging of the hands and wrists of children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2005;32(9):1811-1120.
Conaghan P. Is MRI useful in osteoarthritis? Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol. 2006;20(1):57-68.
Peterfy CG, Gold G, Eckstein F, et al. MRI protocols for whole-organ assessment of the knee in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2006;14 Suppl A:A95-A111.
Eckstein F, Burstein D, Link TM. Quantitative MRI of cartilage and bone: Degenerative changes in osteoarthritis. NMR Biomed. 2006;19(7):822-854.
American College of Rheumatology Extremity Magnetic Resonance Imaging Task Force. Extremity magnetic resonance imaging in rheumatoid arthritis: Report of the American College of Rheumatology Extremity Magnetic Resonance Imaging Task Force. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54(4):1034-1047.
Eckstein F, Mosher T, Hunter D. Imaging of knee osteoarthritis: Data beyond the beauty. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2007;19(5):435-443.
Schürmann M, Zaspel J, Löhr P, et al. Imaging in early posttraumatic complex regional pain syndrome: A comparison of diagnostic methods. Clin J Pain. 2007;23(5):449-457.
National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions. Osteoarthritis. The care and management of osteoarthritis in adults. Clinical Guideline 59. London, UK: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); February 2008.
Tsai P, Beredjiklian PK. Physical diagnosis and radiographic examination of the thumb. Hand Clin. 2008;24(3):231-237, v.
Moran DS, Evans RK, Hadad E. Imaging of lower extremity stress fracture injuries. Sports Med. 2008;38(4):345-356.
Huysse WC, Verstraete KL. Health technology assessment of magnetic resonance imaging of the knee. Eur J Radiol. 2008;65(2):190-193.
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN). Management of early rheumatoid arthritis. SIGN Publication No. 123. Edinburgh, Scotland: SIGN; 2011.
Venables PWJ, Maini RN. Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. UpToDate [online serial]. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; January 2011.
Schur PH, Maini RN, Moreland LW. General principles of management of rheumatoid arthritis. UpToDate [online serial]. Waltham, MA: UpToDate; February 2011.
American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Hand, wrist, and forearm disorders not including carpal tunnel syndrome. In: Hegmann KT, editor(s). Occupational medicine practice guidelines. Evaluation and management of common health problems and functional recovery in workers. 3rd ed. Elk Grove Village (IL): American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM); 2011 (Update of a 2004 ACOEM guideline). Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=34435&search=MRI+of+the+Extremities. Accessed January 30, 2012.
Feydy A, Lavie-Brion MC, Gossec L, et al. Comparative study of MRI and power Doppler ultrasonography of the heel in patients with spondyloarthritis with and without heel pain and in controls. Ann Rheum Dis. 2012;71(4):498-503
Aweid O, Del Buono A, Malliaras P, et al. Systematic review and recommendations for intracompartmental pressure monitoring in diagnosing chronic exertional compartment syndrome of the leg. Clin J Sport Med. 2012;22(4):356-370.
Copyright Aetna Inc. All rights reserved. Clinical Policy Bulletins are developed by Aetna to assist in administering plan benefits and constitute neither offers of coverage nor medical advice. This Clinical Policy Bulletin contains only a partial, general description of plan or program benefits and does not constitute a contract. Aetna does not provide health care services and, therefore, cannot guarantee any results or outcomes. Participating providers are independent contractors in private practice and are neither employees nor agents of Aetna or its affiliates. Treating providers are solely responsible for medical advice and treatment of members. This Clinical Policy Bulletin may be updated and therefore is subject to change.