Early diagnosis and monitoring of disease progress are of significant importance in the effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), because the continuing inflammation can lead to irreversible joint damage and systemic complications. However, applying imaging modalities for the prognosis of RA remains challenging, because no tissue‐specific guidelines are available to monitor the progressive course of RA. In this study, fluorometric imaging of RA is reported using bioengineered targeted agents of the blood vessel, bone, and cartilage in combination with the customized optical fluorescence imaging system. Separate but simultaneous tissue‐specific images of synovitis, cartilage destruction, and bone resorption are obtained from a mouse model of RA, which allows quantification of the prognosis of diseases at each stage. Thus, the fluorometric imaging of RA by using tissue‐specific contrast agents plays a key role in the systemic treatment of RA by monitoring structural damage and disease progression.
Keywords : near‐infrared fluorescence, progressive imaging, rheumatoid arthritis, targeted fluorophores