Evaluation of SLE arthritis using frequency domain optical imaging

Alessandro Marone, Wei Tang, Youngwan Kim, Tommy Chen, George Danias, Cathy Guo, Yevgeniya Gartshteyn, Leila Khalili, Hyun Kim, Andreas Hielscher, Anca D. Askanase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) affects the joints in up to 95% of patients. The diagnosis and evaluation of SLE arthritis remain challenging in both practice and clinical trials. Frequency domain optical imaging (FDOI) has been previously used to assess joint involvement in inflammatory arthritis. The objective of this study was to evaluate FDOI in SLE arthritis.

METHODS: Ninety-six proximal interphalangeal (PIP) joints from 16 patients with SLE arthritis and 60 PIP joints from 10 age-matched, gender-matched and race/ethnicity-matched controls were examined. A laser beam with a wavelength of 670 nm, 1 mm in diameter and intensity modulated at 300 MHz and 600 MHz was directed onto the dorsal surface of each joint, scanning across a sagittal plane. The transmitted light intensities and phase shifts were measured with an intensified charge-coupled device camera. The data were analysed using Discriminant Analysis and Support Vector Machine algorithms.

RESULTS: The amplitude and phase of the transmitted light were significantly different between SLE and control PIPs (p<0.05). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of cross-validated models showed an Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC)of 0.89 with corresponding sensitivity of 95%, specificity of 79%, and accuracy of 80%.

CONCLUSION: This study is the first evaluation of optical methods in the assessment of SLE arthritis; there was a statistically significant difference in the FDOI signals between patients with SLE and healthy volunteers. The results show that FDOI may have the potential to provide an objective, user-independent, evaluation of SLE PIP joints arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000495
JournalLupus Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 30 2021


  • Lupus erythematosus
  • arthritis
  • inflammation
  • systemic
  • Optical Imaging
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/diagnostic imaging
  • ROC Curve
  • Arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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