Identifying knee osteoarthritis. Classification, early recognition and imaging. [free PhD thesis]
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive and disabling joint disease. It is one of the most frequently occurring health problems for middle-aged and older people. OA can occur in every synovial joint, but is most common in hip, knee, hand, foot and spine. It is characterized by joint pain and limited function of the joint. In a synovial joint several structures can cause these clinical symptoms. Bone, cartilage, synovial fluid, ligaments and also the muscles around the joint are tissues that change with OA and affect the function of the joint. Several tissues might be a starting point for pathways that lead to OA. Cartilage might be tissue in which the pathophysiological process of OA starts, but biochemical and imaging studies have shown that synovium and bone can also be starting points. However, it remains unclear which of these three types of tissue, or some combination thereof, might serve as the key tissue for OA
Treatment of OA is focused on treating symptoms while it might be more effective to start treatment before symptoms are present. Early predictive signs for evident knee OA need to be identified, so it will be possible to define people that will get OA in the future. This thesis describes the evaluation of different classification criteria and the identification of radiographic and MRI features that are related to different aspects of clinical symptoms and risk factors of (early) knee OA. > from Dieuwke Schiphof (2012). All rights reserved to the author and Erasmus University Rotterdam.
The free full text PhD. thesis (182 pages) can be downloaded here.