Detecting inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis using Fourier transform analysis of dorsal optical transmission images from a pilot study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes


A clinical need exists for low-cost and noninvasive imaging tools capable of detecting inflammation in the joints of inflammatory arthritis patients. Previous studies have reported an optical contrast between inflamed and noninflamed joints resulting from distinct absorption and scattering properties. Accurate classification using nonocclusion-based continuous wave, transillumination imaging was limited to patient-specific changes during follow-up examination as opposed to single time-point examination, which was attributed to high intersubject variability. In distinction from previous work, optical images were acquired from the dorsal side with illumination on the palmar side and features about the spatial distribution of transmitted light along the joint were assessed using a normalized Fourier transform method. Results using this approach demonstrated an area under receiver operator curve of up to 0.888 for detecting inflammation in a pilot study involving single time-point examination of 144 joints from 21 rheumatology patients. This workflow may enable future development of clinically viable, lowcost devices for assessing inflammation in arthritis patients, without the need for cuff occlusion or comparison to baseline.


Original languageEnglish
Article number066008
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019


  • Intrinsic contrast, Optical imaging, Rheumatoid arthritis