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Arthritis. 2013;2013:563268. doi: 10.1155/2013/563268. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

The application of optical coherence tomography in musculoskeletal disease.

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Center for Optical Coherence Tomography and Optical Physics, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA ; Harvard Medical School, 250 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Many musculoskeletal disorders (MDs) are associated with irreversible bone and cartilage damage; this is particularly true for osteoarthritis (OA). Therefore, a clinical need exists for modalities which can detect OA and other MDs at early stages. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an infrared-based imaging, currently FDA approved in cardiology and ophthalmology, which has a resolution greater than 10 microns and acquisition rate of 120 frames/second. It has shown feasibility for imaging early OA, identifying changes prior to cartilage thinning both in vitro and in vivo in patients and in OA animal models. In addition, OCT has shown an ability to identify early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and guide tendon repair, but has the potential for an even greater impact. Clinical trials in OA are currently underway, as well as in several other MDs.

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