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Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 563268, 13 pages
Review Article

The Application of Optical Coherence Tomography in Musculoskeletal Disease

1Center for Optical Coherence Tomography and Optical Physics, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2Harvard Medical School, 250 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA

Received 10 August 2012; Accepted 15 December 2012

Academic Editor: Changhai Ding

Copyright © 2013 Christopher Rashidifard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Many musculoskeletal disorders (MDs) are associated with irreversible bone and cartilage damage; this is particularly true for osteoarthritis (OA). Therefore, a clinical need exists for modalities which can detect OA and other MDs at early stages. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an infrared-based imaging, currently FDA approved in cardiology and ophthalmology, which has a resolution greater than 10 microns and acquisition rate of 120 frames/second. It has shown feasibility for imaging early OA, identifying changes prior to cartilage thinning both in vitro and in vivo in patients and in OA animal models. In addition, OCT has shown an ability to identify early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and guide tendon repair, but has the potential for an even greater impact. Clinical trials in OA are currently underway, as well as in several other MDs.