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Issue 10, 2010
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Optical imaging: new tools for arthritis

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Conventional radiography, ultrasound, CT, MRI, and nuclear imaging are the current imaging modalities used for clinical evaluation of arthritis which is highly prevalent and a leading cause of disability. Some of these types of imaging are also used for monitoring disease progression and treatment response of arthritis. However, their disadvantages limit their utilities, such as ionizing radiation for radiography, CT, and nuclear imaging; suboptimal tissue contrast resolution for radiography, CT, ultrasound, and nuclear imaging; high cost for CT and MRI and nuclear imaging; and long data-acquisition time with ensuing patient discomfort for MRI. Recently, there have been considerable advances in nonionizing noninvasive optical imaging which has demonstrated promise for early diagnosis, monitoring therapeutic interventions and disease progression of arthritis. Optical based molecular imaging modalities such as fluorescence imaging have shown high sensitivity in detection of optical contrast agents and can aid early diagnosis and ongoing evaluation of chronic inflammatory arthritis. Optical transillumination imaging or diffuse optical tomography may differentiate normal joint clear synovial fluid from turbid and pink medium early in the inflammatory process. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has been used to evaluate fluid composition from joints affected by arthritis. Hemodynamic changes such as angiogenesis, hypervascularization, and hypoxia in arthritic articular tissue can potentially be observed by diffuse optical tomography and photoacoustic tomography. Optical measurements could also facilitate quantification of hemodynamic properties such as blood volume and oxygenation levels at early stages of inflammatory arthritis. Optical imaging provides methodologies which should contribute to detection of early changes and monitoring of progression in pathological characteristics of arthritis, with relatively simple instrumentation.

Graphical abstract: Optical imaging: new tools for arthritis

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The article was received on 15 Dec 2009, accepted on 04 Aug 2010 and first published on 16 Sep 2010

Article type: Review Article
DOI: 10.1039/B926506F
Citation: Integr. Biol., 2010,2, 496-509
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    Optical imaging: new tools for arthritis

    D. Chamberland, Y. Jiang and X. Wang, Integr. Biol., 2010, 2, 496
    DOI: 10.1039/B926506F

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