In vivo data available (human)
Syndesmophyte (abnormal bone) growth in the spine is a hallmark of Ankylosing Spondylitis, a type of inflammatory arthritis. Syndesmophyte growth is currently monitored using semi-quantitative scoring of radiographs, but radiographs consider only a small part of the vertebra, and the method is subject to reader error. Because syndesmophytes grow slowly, radiographs also lack sensitivity. The invention provides a method to measure syndesmophytes using data from computed tomography scans of the lumbar spine. It provides computer algorithm that fully quantitates syndesmophyte volumes in three-dimension space. This method allows precise and accurate measurement of the presence and rate of growth of syndesmophytes over time, which for the first time will permit testing of whether any treatments can slow the progression of this type of spinal arthritis.
- The method would be useful for clinical trials of drugs against Syndesmophyte growth.
- Because of the improved precision, achieving statistical significance in assessing the efficacy of a drug would require smaller samples.
- The present method is more automated than existing methods.
- The method is more precise and sensitive than existing methods, thus providing more reliable statistical analysis and improved planning in treatment regimen.