Emily Alexandria Waters1, Shawn Rose2, Thomas Meade1, 3, Harris Perlman2
1Center for Advanced Molecular Imaging, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States; 2Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, United States; 3Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States
Studies of inflammatory arthritis in mice rely upon anatomically crude measures of ankle joint disease and require sacrificing large numbers of animals to obtain tissue sections. There is critical need in experimental rheumatology for noninvasive longitudinal monitoring of the progression of inflammatory arthritis in individual animals. We used high-resolution MRI to serially image soft tissue inflammation and bone destruction in ankles of acute and chronic murine models of arthritis. MRI data was validated against clinical and optical assessments. These studies lay the groundwork for using MRI to investigate joint pathology and response to therapy in animal models of rheumatic disease.