What we do

Imaging is a major cross-cutting theme for all the research groups within LIRMM. We have been world-leading in developing the use of modern imaging, especially MRI and ultrasound, to study pathogenesis, stratification for intervention, outcome measurement and care pathway evolution across the rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders. The group played a leading role in the development of the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) imaging tools development, and maintain strong involvement with OMERACT and with the EULAR Standing Committee on Musculoskeletal Imaging.

Disease areas we are currently working in: reumatoid arthritis (and pre-RA), ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, osteoarthritis, post-joint replacement (with metal suppression techniques), giant cell arteritis.

Anatomical regions studied: spine, knee, hip, hand and wrist, shoulder, foot and ankle, whole body techniques.

Anatomical structures studied: bone, synovium, cartilage, meniscus, tendon, enthesis, skin.

We use a broad range of MRI (including pre and post-contrast, DCE-MRI) and ultrasound (grey scale, Doppler, elastography), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and nailfold capillaroscopy techniques with experienced practitioners and state-of-the-art equipment. We have experience in semi-quantitative and (through collaborators Imorphics) quantitative assessment of imaging pathologies.

We support educational and training initiatives for imaging, in particular for ultrasound at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


Key publications

Key publications our team has contributed to

  1. Design of a phase IV randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial assessing the ImPact of Residual Inflammation Detected via Imaging TEchniques, Drug Levels and Patient Characteristics on the Outcome of Dose TaperIng of Adalimumab in Clinical Remission Rheumatoid ArThritis (RA) patients (PREDICTRA).
    Emery P, Burmester GR, Naredo E, Zhou Y, Hojnik M, Conaghan PG.
    BMJ Open. 2018 Feb 28;8(2):e019007. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019007.
  2. The relationship between two different measures of osteoarthritis bone pathology, bone marrow lesions and 3D bone shape: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.
    Dube B, Bowes MA, Hensor EMA, Barr A, Kingsbury SR, Conaghan PG.
    Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2018 Oct;26(10):1333-1337. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2018.06.011. Epub 2018 Jul 12.
  3. What Imaging-Detected Pathologies Are Associated With Shoulder Symptoms and Their Persistence? A Systematic Literature Review.
    Tran G, Cowling P, Smith T, Bury J, Lucas A, Barr A, Kingsbury SR, Conaghan PG.
    Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 Aug;70(8):1169-1184. doi: 10.1002/acr.23554. Epub 2018 Jun.
  4. Where does meniscal damage progress most rapidly? An analysis using three-dimensional shape models on data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.
    Dube B, Bowes MA, Kingsbury SR, Hensor EMA, Muzumdar S, Conaghan PG.
    Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2018 Jan;26(1):62-71. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2017.10.012. Epub 2017 Oct 17.
  5. Three-dimensional nail imaging by optical coherence tomography: a novel biomarker of response to therapy for nail disease in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
    Abignano G, Laws P, Del Galdo F, Marzo-Ortega H, McGonagle D.
    Clin Exp Dermatol. 2018 Sep 23. doi: 10.1111/ced.13786. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.
  6. 'Deep Koebner' phenomenon of the flexor tendon-associated accessory pulleys as a novel factor in tenosynovitis and dactylitis in psoriatic arthritis.
    Tinazzi I, McGonagle D, Aydin SZ, Chessa D, Marchetta A, Macchioni P.
    Ann Rheum Dis. 2018 Jun;77(6):922-925. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-212681. Epub 2018 Mar 6.
  7. Whole-body MRI of patients with polymyalgia rheumatica identifies a distinct subset with complete patient-reported response to glucocorticoids.
    Mackie SL, Pease CT, Fukuba E, Harris E, Emery P, Hodgson R, Freeston J, McGonagle D.
    Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Dec;74(12):2188-92. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-207395. Epub 2015 Sep 16.
  8. Development and validation of rheumatoid arthritis magnetic resonance imaging inflammation thresholds associated with lack of damage progression.
    Baker JF, Østergaard M, Emery P, Baker DG, Conaghan PG.
    Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2017 Jul-Aug;35(4):607-613. Epub 2017 Jan 27.
  9. Responsiveness of clinical and ultrasound outcome measures in musculoskeletal systemic lupus erythematosus. Rheumatology.
    Mahmoud K, Zayat AS, Yusof Y, Hensor E, Conaghan PG, Emery P, Vital EM.
    In press
  10. EULAR recommendations for the use of imaging in the diagnosis and management of spondyloarthritis in clinical practice.
    Mandl P, Navarro-Compán V, Terslev L, Aegerter P, van der Heijde D, D'Agostino MA, Baraliakos X, Pedersen SJ, Jurik AG, Naredo E, Schueller-Weidekamm C, Weber U, Wick MC, Bakker PA, Filippucci E, Conaghan PG, Rudwaleit M, Schett G, Sieper J, Tarp S, Marzo-Ortega H, Østergaard M; European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).
    Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Jul;74(7):1327-39. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206971. Epub 2015 Apr 2.


Who we are


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