ESMIRA project

ESMIRA: Early Signs in MRI, Identifying Rheumatoid Arthritis

This research is supported by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW (HTSM), under grant number 13329, co-financed by the Dutch Arthritis Foundation.

September 2014 – August 2018

Principal investigator: Berend C. Stoel


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a prevalent disease characterized by chronic inflammation and destruction of joints, predominantly in the hands and feet. Clinical research indicates that aggressive treatment of RA at early stage can halt the progression of the disease and increase chances of recovery. However, early identification of RA within this window of opportunity is a key challenge.

MRI is sensitive to early inflammation and is currently being studied as means of early detection of RA. Visual scoring of MR scans in RA studies is time-consuming, costly, and relies on perceptual volume estimates. The goal of the ESMIRA project is to develop a fully automatic and quantitative framework for measuring known RA-related biomarkers (bone marrow edema, synovitis, and tenosynovitis) and discover new imaging biomarkers that could improve diagnostic accuracy.

Associated researchers: