Aim: This study aims to explore the feasibility of using serial MRI without contrast in the monitoring of Charcot neuroarthropathy to reduce duration of immobilisation of the foot, in order to decide whether a large-scale trial is warranted

Methods: A multicentre, randomised, prospective, two arm, open, feasibility study (CADOM) of people with diabetes with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of Charcot neuroarthropathy. Participants were randomised (1:1) to ‘standard care plus’, including repeated foot temperature measurements and X-rays, or the intervention arm, with additional three-monthly MRI, until remission of Charcot neuroarthropathy or a maximum 12 months (active phase). Participants were then followed-up for a further six months, post remission to monitor for relapse of the Charcot neuroarthropathy (follow-up phase). Feasibility outcomes were recruitment, retention, data completeness, adherence to study procedures and safety of the intervention MRI. We also collected clinical efficacy outcomes, this included time in cast/off-loading device which will be the primary outcome of a future definitive trial. Finally, we collected patient reported outcomes, and data on health and social care usage.

Results: One-hundred and five people were assessed for eligibility at five sites. 64/105 potential participants meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the study. Forty-three participants were randomised: 20 to standard care plus and 23 to MRI intervention. The main reason for ineligibility was a previous episode of Charcot neuroarthropathy. Thirteen participants were withdrawn post-randomisation due to an alternative diagnosis being made. Of the remaining 30 participants, 19 achieved remission, 6 had not gone into remission at the end of the 12 month active phase so exited the study. Five participants were lost to follow-up. Of the MRIs that were not disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic 26/31 (84%) were completed. For the visits that were conducted face-to-face, completion rates of patient-reported outcome measures were between 71-100% . There were no safety incidents associated with the intervention MRI.
As this was a feasibility study it was not designed to test the effectiveness of serial MRI in diagnosing remission. The time in cast/off-loading device was 235 (±108.3) days for the standard care plus arm compared to 292 (±177.4) days for the intervention arm. There was no statistical difference in the time in cast/off-loading device between the two arms of the study: Hazard Ratio (HR) 0.405 (95% CI 0.140-1.172), p=0.096.

Discussion: The findings support a definitive randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of MRI in diagnosing remission in Charcot neuroarthropathy. The rates of recruitment, retention, data, and MRI completeness show that a definitive study is feasible.

Study registration ISRCTN, 74101606. Registered on 6 November 2017.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Research
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2023


  • Charcot neuroarthropathy
  • Diabetes
  • Feasibility study
  • MRI
  • Remission
  • Temperature monitoring
  • X-ray

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