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The connection between inflammation, obesity, and osteoarthritis is not well understood. The INFORM (Inflammation and Osteoarthritis at the Brigham) project aims to identify what roles, if any, inflammation and obesity may play in the development and progression of osteoarthritis.

We are beginning by adding an ultrasound component to the existing ORBIT study, which already includes MRI and waist-to-hip ratio measurements. We’ll be using this data to see whether waist-to-hip ratio or waist circumference is associated with inflammation on the ultrasound or MRI.

Additionally, through a combination of medical record review and the recruitment of patients seen in clinic, we are working to assemble a dataset comprised of individuals with knee osteoarthritis who have had both an MRI and an aspiration of synovial fluid of their knee. This will include both structural information and joint fluid composition, which will allow us to test for other markers of inflammation such as white blood cell count.

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