Most of the novel work in imaging marker for OA is in MRI, a non-invasive way of assessing structural changes which, in recent years, has made significant contribution to our improved understanding of pathology, and has helped with insights into diagnosis and therapy monitoring.
With increasing number of potential new DMOADs on the horizon for OA, it has become prudent that a reliable, reproducible and validated marker of response is developed that can measure change sensitively and accurately, especially in early disease. Large cohort studies like the Osteoarthritis Initiative provide the opportunity to identify sensitive imaging markers. However, the complex relationship between structural changes in OA and symptoms continue to add another dimension of challenge in interpreting the relevance of changes observed.
MRI has the advantage over other imaging modality in assessing OA due to its capability in visualising all joint structures including bone, cartilage, meniscus, tendons, ligaments and synovium, all of which can be affected in OA. Various sophisticated novel MRI techniques and scoring systems have been devised for OA, mainly focussing on measuring and characterising the morphology and physiology of cartilage changes. To date, MRI as an imaging marker for OA is mainly explored as a research tool and awaits translation into clinical practice, currently largely limited by its cost and the relative complexity of image interpretation.
Disclosure of Interest None declared