Osteoarthritis year 2010 in review: imaging

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2011 Apr;19(4):354-60. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2011.02.003. Epub 2011 Feb 12.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is no longer viewed as a passive, degenerative disorder, but rather an active disease process driven primarily by mechanical factors. OA should also be conceptualized as a disease of a whole joint organ, and therefore imaging of OA requires techniques which enable us to visualize the whole joint organ. Although clinical decision making based on imaging findings remains controversial the importance of imaging-derived data in OA research cannot be overemphasized. Since mid-2009, numerous publications reporting on imaging-oriented studies on OA have been reported. These include magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of numerous features of the whole joint such as synovitis, subchondral bone, meniscus, cartilage and cyst-like lesions. Active research is also ongoing using conventional radiography with a focus on measurements of joint space width and alignment of the knee joint. Ultrasound is emerging as a useful imaging technique, particularly in the field of hand OA research. As the importance of imaging-derived data increases, all potential authors are advised that they should seek opinions from expert musculoskeletal radiologist to ascertain the application of correct imaging techniques, especially the MR pulse sequences and image interpretation. The peer-review process of OA imaging in any journal, therefore, should involve musculoskeletal radiologists experienced in OA research to ensure the publication of papers with scientifically sound contents.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cartilage, Articular / diagnostic imaging
  • Decision Making
  • Disease Progression
  • Hand / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnosis*
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasonography