Research in magnetic resonance imaging

​The research in magnetic resonance imaging comprises development of standardized definitions of findings, and tests of these in methodological and clinical studies.
​The aim is to develop strong and valid instruments to assess change in disease activity and joint damage, and to identify predictors of disease progression.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In collaboration with international researchers, we have developed and tested the Rheumatoid Arthritis MRI Score (RAMRIS) (Østergaard et al., 2009). RAMRIS is considered the standard magnetic resonance imaging method for clinical trials. Recently, a cartilage assessment method has also been developed and tested (Østergaard et al., 2011).

In a Danish multi-center study, inflammation in the bone marrow near the joint predicted destruction of that joint and reduced joint function (Hetland et al., 2010), and this has been confirmed in large clinical trials (Baker et al., 2013). This information has been included in national and international (Colebatch AN et al., 2013) recommendations.

Read the national recommendations, in Danish​ (pdf, opens in a new tab)

In an ongoing study (by Signe Møller-Bisgaard, PhD student), we are investigating whether intensification of treatment based on the presence of inflammation in the bone marrow reduces joint damage and preserves joint function.

Axial spondyloarthritis 

In collaboration with Canadian researchers, we have developed and tested definitions for different types of lesions in the sacroiliac joints and spine (Østergaard et al., 2009). 

Our studies have revealed a possible connection between inflammation and progression in damage (Pedersen et al., 2011), which is a highly debated topic. 

Currently, we are investigating the relation between inflammation and bone damage in the sacroiliac joints and spine in relation to different treatments (Pedersen et al., 2014).​

The Canada-Denmark MRI scoring system of the spine in patients with axial spondyloarthritis

Readers who wish to use our web-based scoring module may contact professor Mikkel Østergaard for further information. Reader instructions are available for each of the 4 lesion types:

Whole-Body MRI

We have developed the OMERACT MRI Whole-Body Score for Inflammation in Peripheral Joints and Entheses in Inflammatory Arthritis (MRI-WIPE). Readers who wish to use our web-based scoring module may contact professor Mikkel Østergaard for further information. Reader instructions are available here (pdf, opens in a new tab).


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