Imaging joint inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most frequent inflammatory diseases, resulting in destruction of affected joints. Early diagnosis increases the efficiency of symptom-targeting treatments. However, accurate diagnosis depends on expensive modalities such as MRI.

MSOT offers structural and functional imaging of joints involved in arthritis. In a mouse study, MSOT in combination with an P- and L-selectin-targeting contrast agent, allowed for accurate staging of inflammation in arthritic joints.

MSOT imaging of inflamed and non-inflamed joints

MSOT images of ankles (An) and knees (K) of a representative mouse at an advanced stage of arthritis using a polyanionic dendritic polyglycerol sulfate (dPGS) contrast agent. The left leg was treated with collagen to develop arthritis, right leg serves as healthy control.
A–F, MSOT images of the left and right ankles (A) and knees (D) were acquired at an illumination wavelength of 860 nm for anatomic contrast. MSOT signals for dPGS-NIR accumulation and oxygenated hemoglobin in the ankles (B and C) and in the knees (E and F) are shown as fluorescence overlays on the anatomic images. Bars = 5 mm.; BV = blood vessel G and H, Sagittal T1-weighted magnetic resonance images were obtained from the left knee joint of the same mouse before (G) and after (H) gadolinium injection.

Quantifying probe signal in healthy and inflamed joints

Difference in the dPGS-NIR MSOT signal between the healthy and inflamed sides in a series of mice. The group of mice identified as having healthy (non-arthritic) joints on MSOT displayed no visible signs of inflammation and a normal blood cell count. The group of mice with low inflammation had less severe synovitis and a modified blood cell count. The group of mice with high inflammation displayed greater severity of synovitis and a low lymphocyte:granulocyte ratio. Bars show the mean ± SD percentage, representing the absolute values of the difference in dPGS-NIR accumulation between the limbs.

Beziere, N., Schacky, C., Kosanke, Y., Kimm, M., Nunes, A., Licha, K., Aichler, Walch, A., Rummeny, E.J., Ntziachristos, V., Meier, R., Optoacoustic imaging and staging of inflammation in a murine model of arthritis, Arthritis Rheumatol, 2014, 66(8), 2071-2078.

Kang, N. Y., Park, S. J., Ang, X. W. E., Samanta, A., Driessen, W. H., Ntziachristos, V., Vasquez, K.O., Peterson, J.D., Yun, S.-W., Chang, Y. T., A macrophage uptaking near-infrared chemical probe CDnir7 for in vivo imaging of inflammation, Chem. Commun., 2014, 50(50), 6589-6591.

  • N. Beziere et al.,
    Optoacoustic Imaging and Staging of Inflammation in a Murine Model of Arthritis
    Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Aug;66(8):2071-8. DOI: 10.1002/art.38642.
  • Nam-Young Kang et al.,
    A macrophage uptaking near-infrared chemical probe CDnir7 for in vivo imaging of inflammation,
    Chem. Commun., 2014 Jun 25;50(50):6589-91. DOI: 10.1039/C4CC02038C.
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