The outcome of various rheumatic diseases clearly benefits from early, intensive and individualised treatment strategies. This requires sensitive tools that enable early diagnosis, disease activity monitoring and prediction of treatment outcome. There is increasing evidence that advanced imaging techniques may fulfil these clinical needs by non-invasive detection and (semi-)quantitative monitoring of disease activity, even at subclinical level. The spectrum of available and investigated imaging techniques in rheumatology has broadened over time, ranging from ultrasound, MRI to more recently explored techniques as PET(-CT/MRI) and optical imaging. Each technique has specific characteristics that can add clinical value. The focus of imaging studies is gradually changing from initial exploration of visualization of disease activity (changes) towards prospective studies focusing on investigation of imaging as predictive tool for prognosis of disease development, response and relapse to therapy. The lecture will provide an overview of the current status of advanced imaging techniques as predictive tools in rheumatology.
Disclosure of Interest C. van der Laken Grant/research support from: Hoffmann La Roche, Pfizer, Abbvie