Early diagnosis to enable early treatment of pre-osteoarthritis

Arthritis Research & Therapy, 06/08/2012

Chu CR et al. – This review focuses on recent advances in imaging and biochemical biomarkers suitable for characterization of the pre–osteoarthritic joint as well as implications for development of effective early treatment strategies.

  • Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent and disabling disease affecting an increasingly large swathe of the world population.
  • While clinical osteoarthritis is a late stage condition for which opportunities for disease modification are limited, osteoarthritis typically progresses to a symptomatic clinically identifiable state over several decades offering a long window of opportunity for altering its course.
  • The etiology of osteoarthritis is multi–factorial with stronger associations to highly modifiable risk factors of mechanical overload and trauma than to genetic predisposition.
  • As such, characterization of early pre–osteoarthritic disease states will be critical towards supporting a paradigm shift from modification of traditional clinical osteoarthritis to early diagnosis and early treatment of joint injury and degeneration to prevent or delay the onset of osteoarthritis.
  • Joint trauma accelerates development of clinical osteoarthritis and provides a unique opportunity for evaluation of pre–osteoarthritic conditions from its earliest stages.

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