Posted on Jun 25, 2018, 4 p.m.
An algorithm has been developed to monitor arthritis that may change the manner in which the severity of arthritis is assessed and treated, as published in the journal Scientific Reports.
Noninvasive JSM techniques may open paths to improved understandings of how osteoarthritis develops and enhance assessment of how effective treatments are without the need for invasive tissue sampling. X-rays are currently used to detect osteoarthritis by identifying narrowing of space between joint bones as cartilage is lost, but this is not sensitive enough to detect subtle changes that occur within the joint over time.
Standard computerised tomography scans produce detailed colour coded images of joints, referred to as joint space mapping, the algorithm highlights areas where the spaces between bones is narrower or wider in the joints. 3D imaging appears to be more effective at monitoring and diagnosing arthritis than that of traditional methods, CT imaging of joints has not been approved for use in research trials.
Human joint space mapping tests were found by the researchers to outperform X-ray imaging on terms of sensitivity and was twice as good at detecting changes. JSM algorithm is a valuable tool for clinical and research settings, when combined with 3D statistical analysis it could speed up the development of new treatments and identify osteoartritis earlier before it becomes debilitating, according to the researchers.
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