7. Imaging in Osteoarthritis
Authors: MD Peter Salat, MD David Salonen, MD Andrea N. Veljkovic
Publisher: Springer International Publishing
- Imaging of osteoarthritis (OA) can be performed with many different imaging modalities, but, in the clinical setting, the most commonly used modality is radiography.
- Radiographic manifestations of OA mirror the pathologic changes of the disease, but the technique has well-known limitations in detecting very early disease and monitoring progression.
- The limitations of radiographic assessment of OA may be one of the reasons behind the failure of many past DMOAD development trials.
- MRI allows assessment of all relevant tissues in a joint affected with OA and enables characterization of tissue changes on a biochemical level and the detection of the earliest pathologic alterations of OA.
- The clinical utility of advanced MRI techniques is limited at present with most applications being experimental and increasingly applied in DMOAD development trials.
- Computed tomography, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine imaging have a very limited role at present in the clinical assessment of OA, but research interest in these techniques is growing and may provide additional tools in the future.