How Advanced Medical Imaging Can Help Understand and Treat Arthritis, Part 1
QNotes, Vol. 2, Issue 12
Each May is designated as Arthritis Awareness Month to enhance understanding of the disease and its effects and to advocate for the need for greater resources and research.
Arthritis refers to a group of medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, creating painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints, eventually resulting in loss of function and total joint replacement surgery. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States and strikes one in every five adults. Arthritis places a growing burden on the health care and economic systems in this country, as each year, people with arthritis account for 44 million outpatient visits and 992,100 hospitalizations. Within 20 years the number of people with arthritis will soar. By 2030, an estimated 67 million Americans will have arthritis, unless the trend is reversed.
Qmetrics’ advances in medical imaging and image analysis have assisted researchers, clinicians and pharmaceutical and medical device companies better see and understand the disease progression of arthritis. Qmetrics has used data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), a nationwide research study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, to develop and validate imaging analysis methods and quantitative metrics to more precisely characterize osteoarthritis and to evaluate potential therapies for the disease.
During May, Qmetrics will highlight a variety of scientific posters or presentations recently given that show the impact medical imaging is having on arthritis research and treatment.
The first in this series is a poster from the OARSI 2014 World Congress,Osteoarthritis pain prediction using X-ray features: Data from the OAI. The purpose is to identify if a plain film analysis can predict joint pain in persons with knee osteoarthritis. It concludes that multivariate models of changes in early joint structure can predict future joint pain.
This finding suggests that early changes in joint anatomy can predict development of future symptoms, and may enable the development of targeted therapies to address the structural factors linked to pain onset, rather than palliative therapies to mask the pain itself.