Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Craniocervical junction (CCJ) can be involved in inflammatory arthritis. We aimed to define types of CCJ involvement in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondyloarthritis (SpA), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and compare them with patients without inflammatory arthritides. Materials and methods: In this retrospective analysis, cervical CT or MRIs of patients with RA, SpA, or PsA, taken for any reason between 2010 and 2020, according to ICD-10 codes, were scanned. Demographic data of the patients were recorded. CCJ involvements (atlantoaxial, vertical, or subaxial subluxation, odontoid process involvement) were reevaluated by an experienced radiologist. The control group consisted of consecutive patients without inflammatory arthritis. Results: Exactly 459 patients (204 RA, 200 SpA, and 55 PsA) and 78 patients in the control group were included in the study. CCJ involvement was detected in 101 (49.5%) RA, 53 (26.5%) SpA, 10 (18.2%) PsA, and 4 patients (5.1%) in the control group (p < 0.001). The odontoid process was one of the main targets, especially in RA patients (69 (33.8%)), which was significantly higher than in the SpA, PsA, and control groups. Although vertical subluxation (VS) was numerically higher in the RA and SpA groups compared to the control group, VS-related brainstem compression was relatively uncommon: 6 (2.9%) in RA, 1 (0.5%) in AS, and none in the PsA and control groups. Conclusion: CCJ involvement can often be detected in patients with inflammatory arthritis, especially in RA and SpA patients. The odontoid process is the main target of inflammation.


Spondyloarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, radiography, craniocervical junction

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