Photoacoustic (PA) imaging combined with ultrasonography (US) holds promise to offer a novel and powerful tool for clinical management of inflammatory arthritis, including early detection and treatment monitoring. As a complement to US, PA imaging can assess additional hemodynamic changes in inflammatory synovium, including hyperemia and hypoxia, both important and early physiological biomarkers of synovitis reflecting the increased metabolic demand and the relatively inadequate oxygen delivery of the inflammatory synovial tissue. In this study on arthritis patients and normal volunteers, the targeted metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints were imaged using our real-time US-PA dual-modality imaging system. The blood volume and the blood oxygenation in the segmented synovium were quantified, and the results from the arthritis patients were compared to those from the normal volunteers. This initial study on human subjects demonstrated that PA imaging, by working at the optical wavelengths that are sensitive to oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin, is capable of identifying and characterizing inflammation in joints based on the detection of hemodynamic changes.
Janggun Jo, Guan Xu, April Marquardt, Gandikota Girish, and Xueding Wang, "Photoacoustic evaluation of human inflammatory arthritis in human joints," Proc. SPIE 10064, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2017, 1006409 (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 3 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252342.
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