University of Oulu

Almhdie-Imjabbar, A., Podsiadlo, P., Ljuhar, R. et al. Trabecular bone texture analysis of conventional radiographs in the assessment of knee osteoarthritis: review and viewpoint. Arthritis Res Ther 23, 208 (2021).

Trabecular bone texture analysis of conventional radiographs in the assessment of knee osteoarthritis : review and viewpoint

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Author: Almhdie-Imjabbar, Ahmad1,2; Podsiadlo, Pawel3; Ljuhar, Richard4;
Organizations: 1EA 4708- I3MTO Laboratory, University of Orleans, Orleans, France
2Translational Medicine Research Platform, PRIMMO, Regional Hospital of Orleans, Orleans, France
3Tribology Laboratory, School of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, 6102, Australia
4ImageBiopsy Lab, Vienna, Austria
5Department of Rheumatology, Regional Hospital of Orleans, Orleans, France
6Physics and Technology, Research Unit of Medical Imaging, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-10-27


Background: Trabecular bone texture analysis (TBTA) has been identified as an imaging biomarker that provides information on trabecular bone changes due to knee osteoarthritis (KOA). Consequently, it is important to conduct a comprehensive review that would permit a better understanding of this unfamiliar image analysis technique in the area of KOA research.

We examined how TBTA, conducted on knee radiographs, is associated to (i) KOA incidence and progression, (ii) total knee arthroplasty, and (iii) KOA treatment responses. The primary aims of this study are twofold: to provide (i) a narrative review of the studies conducted on radiographic KOA using TBTA, and (ii) a viewpoint on future research priorities.

Method: Literature searches were performed in the PubMed electronic database. Studies published between June 1991 and March 2020 and related to traditional and fractal image analysis of trabecular bone texture (TBT) on knee radiographs were identified.

Results: The search resulted in 219 papers. After title and abstract scanning, 39 studies were found eligible and then classified in accordance to six criteria: cross-sectional evaluation of osteoarthritis and non-osteoarthritis knees, understanding of bone microarchitecture, prediction of KOA progression, KOA incidence, and total knee arthroplasty and association with treatment response. Numerous studies have reported the relevance of TBTA as a potential bioimaging marker in the prediction of KOA incidence and progression. However, only a few studies have focused on the association of TBTA with both OA treatment responses and the prediction of knee joint replacement.

Conclusion: Clear evidence of biological plausibility for TBTA in KOA is already established. The review confirms the consistent association between TBT and important KOA endpoints such as KOA radiographic incidence and progression. TBTA could provide markers for enrichment of clinical trials enhancing the screening of KOA progressors. Major advances were made towards a fully automated assessment of KOA.

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Series: Arthritis research & therapy
ISSN: 1478-6354
ISSN-E: 1478-6362
ISSN-L: 1478-6354
Volume: 23
Issue: 1
Article number: 208
DOI: 10.1186/s13075-021-02594-9
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: The study was funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)- Project EX004579 and the ERDF- Project PRIMMO. Funding sources had no role in the study design, collection, analysis, and interpretation of the data or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
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