In cases of hand trauma, MRI is the modality of choice to evaluate for occult fractures, tendon or ligament tears. MRI is also very effective in detecting early changes of inflammatory arthritis in the hand, such as Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or gout; MRI can detect even small amounts of inflammation and fluid in the joints and around tendons, often the very first signs of an inflammatory arthritis.  In cases of hand soft tissue masses, intravenous contrast is often given to differentiate between solid masses and cysts; it can also help differentiating between some kinds of solid hand masses.

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