Rheumatoid Arthritis can now be diagnosed using Infrared Imaging

Infrared Imaging for arthritis

The subjective assessment of the patient is largely depended upon which diagnosing the condition of rheumatoid (RA) arthritis. Along with the patient’s assessment, X- rays, ultrasound imaging and blood tests are used. It can be said that so far, a more objective way had been lacking in case of rheumatoid (RA) arthritis. However, now a system that they hope will offer a more objective way of diagnosing RA has been developed by researchers at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom.

Within a patient’s hand, volumetric maps of blood can be generated with the help of the newly developed system that uses infrared spectroscopy and 3D imaging. Scanning the hand and creating a model of it is done with the help of conventional optical imaging. Infrared light is illuminated through each of the fingers as a subsequence and what comes out is further evaluated. Hypoxia and inflammation should be possible to be detected as blood that is more or less oxygenated absorbs infrared light differently.

As many as 144 joints in 21 patients had been analyzed by the team of researchers in their study. The result produced by their system closely matched the analysis of professional rheumatologists of the very same joints.

In a press release, the lead on the study, Hamid Dehghani said that they are aware that diagnosing patients with RA early is really vital, since early detection gives way to early treatment, eventually leading to better and long-term outcomes. He added that the system that has been developed by their team is a low- cost and objective method of detecting the disease. It also allows them to grade how advanced the disease is.

It is their hope that soon the clinicians will be able to diagnose rheumatoid (RA) arthritis and offer treatment plans for their patients in a personalized manner.

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