MRI to detect osteoarthritis in early stages?

Posted on 16 August 2011

Advanced MRI techniques could be used to detect early osteoarthritis - a common problem in those looking for ways to pay for care.

Research published in journal the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that comprehensive MRI methods can be used to identify subtle changes in joint cartilage microstructure.

Earlier detection of the condition could allow for treatment to preserve joints, rather than the eventual reconstruction typically undergone by those with the condition.

Lead author Laith Jazrawi, of New York University, explained that imaging techniques are now powerful enough to pick out the subtle changes in the balance of water, chondrocytes, collagen fibres and protein molecules in joint cartilage.

"With an active and aging baby boomer population beginning to experience joint pain associated with age, we think there is great potential for bringing these imaging techniques from the lab to the benefit of patients," he explained.

This follows research at the University of Edinburgh which found seven new genes to be associated with Paget's disease, a form of arthritis, meaning genetic screening could be a possibility in the future.

Posted by Nigel Murphy

 

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