Current Rheumatology Reviews

Dr. Serena Guiducci  
Department of Biomedicine, Division of Rheumatology
University of Florence


Imaging Biomarkers of Spine Osteoarthritis

Author(s): Maria Popham, Frances M.K. Williams.


While there is an acknowledged need for biomarkers to progress arthritis research, imaging biomarkers for the spine have lagged behind those for peripheral joint osteoarthritis. Progress has been slow for a number of reasons. First and perhaps most importantly, there is currently no international agreement on definition of spine osteoarthritis (OA), either histologically or on imaging. Secondly, spine OA comprises two main pathologies, and debate continues as to whether they are separate entities or linked: degenerative disc disease and facet joint arthritis. Imaging those neighbouring joints is not straightforward and usually requires separate imaging investigations. Thirdly, it is only just becoming clear to what extent changes on imaging are associated with the main clinical problem – back pain. To compound the problem, the organisation of clinical services usually means that different specialties tend to focus on different anatomical areas, so a combined approach is not commonly adopted. Systematic evaluation of facet joints in epidemiological study is still in its infancy. Regardless of these hurdles, we have attempted in this review to summarise the state of play of imaging biomarkers in the spine with the emphasis on degenerative disc disease. MR imaging clearly leads the way and there exists a variety of specialist techniques such as T1rho and which may offer spine research imaging biomarkers in the future.

Keywords: Disc degeneration, imaging biomarker, MR, CT, plain radiograph, back pain, Imaging Biomarkers, Spine Osteoarthritis, arthritis research, peripheral joint osteoarthritis, spine osteoarthritis (OA), Systematic evaluation, Degenerative Disc Disease, matrix metabolism, proteoglycans, collagen, disc bulging, non-invasive imaging techniques, zygapophysial joints, rotational kinematics, disc disease (DDD), (DSN), anti-osteoporosis medication), DDD epidemiology, COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY, Multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT), spondylolysis, spinal chord, 3D CT reconstruct-tions, pre-surgical evaluation, MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING, claustrophobic, Schmorl nodes, Schmorl's nodes, Spinal stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, static magnetic field, echo time (TE), CSF, disc pathology, ligamentous structures, disc signal intensity, disc osteo-phytes, glycosaminoglycans, nucleus pulposus (NP), anthropometrics, MRI TECHNIQUES, T1-mapping, spin-spin relaxation, proteoglycan, joint arthritis, cervical cord, multiple sclerosis, lumbar canal stenosis, cadaveric studies, cross-sectional study, nutrition, genetics, trauma, upper lumbar spine, FACET PAIN, burden of disease, investigative, prognostic, multi-disciplinary agreement, clinical phenotype

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Article Details

Year: 2010
Page: [268 - 274]
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.2174/157339710793205602
Price: $58