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Disease Quantification in Rheumatoid Arthritis from MRI

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Martin Lillholm, PhD

The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) project is focused on the development of novel, automized MR imaging biomarkers of RA disease progression and treatment efficacy. Recent advances in disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs) have shown great results in inhibiting the inflammatory damage associated to RA. The advent of these drugs has resulted in a need for accurate and reproducible markers of treatment efficacy in RA pharmaceutical trials.

For the last decade, MRI has been the modality of choice for assessment of the inflammatory status in RA patients. In clinical trials, the RA MRI scoring (RAMRIS) is the most widely accepted system for grading of both synovial inflammation as well as bone marrow edema and bone erosions. The RAMRIS system does, however, only provide a semi-quantitative score of the RA disease severity.

At Biomediq, we apply state-of-the-art technology in developing fully quantitative and automated biomarkers of RA disease progression, primarily from multi-sequence MRI of the wrist and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint. Our research is focused on directly measuring the volume of inflammed synovium, quantifying the degree of bone marrow edema, and measuring bone loss due to bone erosion.