Imaging in clinical trials is used to evaluate subject eligibility, and/or efficacy of intervention, supporting decision making in drug development by ascertaining treatment effects on joint structure. This review focusses on imaging of bone and cartilage in clinical trials of (knee) osteoarthritis. We narratively review the full-text literature on imaging of bone and cartilage, adding primary experience in the implementation of imaging methods in clinical trials. Aims and constraints of applying imaging in clinical trials are outlined. The specific uses of semi-quantitative and quantitative imaging biomarkers of bone and cartilage in osteoarthritis trials are summarized, focusing on radiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Studies having compared both imaging methodologies directly and those having established a relationship between imaging biomarkers and clinical outcomes are highlighted. To make this review of practical use, recommendations are provided as to which imaging protocols are ideal for capturing specific aspects of bone and cartilage tissue, and pitfalls in their usage are highlighted. Further, the longitudinal sensitivity to change, of different imaging methods is reported for various patient strata. From these power calculations can be accomplished, provided the strength of the treatment effect is known. In conclusion, current imaging methodologies provide powerful tools for scoring and measuring morphological and compositional aspects of most articular tissues, capturing longitudinal change with reasonable to excellent sensitivity. When employed properly, imaging has tremendous potential for ascertaining treatment effects on various joint structures, potentially over shorter time scales than required for demonstrating effects on clinical outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.joca.2014.06.023
View details for PubMedID 25278061