High-resolution x-ray guided three-dimensional diffuse optical tomography of joint tissues in hand osteoarthritis: Morphological and functional assessments


  • 0094-2405/2010/37(8)/4343/12/$30.00



The aim of this study was to investigate the potential use of multimodality functional imaging techniques to identify the quantitative optical findings that can be used to distinguish between osteoarthritic and normal finger joints.


Between 2006 and 2009, the distal interphalangeal finger joints from 40 female subjects including 22 patients and 18 healthy controls were examined clinically and scanned by a hybrid imaging system. This system integrated x-ray tomosynthetic setup with a diffuse optical imaging system. Optical absorption and scattering images were recovered based on a regularization-based hybrid reconstruction algorithm. A receiver operating characteristic curve was used to calculate the statistical significance of specific optical features obtained from osteoarthritic and healthy joints groups.


The three-dimensional optical and x-ray images captured made it possible to quantify optical properties and joint space width of finger joints. Based on the recovered optical absorption and scattering parameters, the authors observed statistically significant differences between healthy and osteoarthritis finger joints.


The statistical results revealed that sensitivity and specificity values up to 92% and 100%, respectively, can be achieved when optical properties of joint tissues were used as classifiers. This suggests that these optical imaging parameters are possible indicators for diagnosing osteoarthritis and monitoring its progression.