The Duke Image Analysis Laboratory (DIAL) is committed to providing comprehensive imaging support in research studies and clinical trials to various agencies. Among these are pharmaceutical firms, biotechnology and medical device companies, Clinical Research Organizations, government and academic research organizations. The capabilities of the lab include protocol development, site training and certification, and image archival and analysis for a variety of modalities including magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, computed tomography and nuclear medicine.
DIAL uses the latest technologies to analyze Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data sets of the brain. Currently the lab is engaged in measurement of the hippocampus, amygdala, caudate, ventricular system, and other brain regional volumes. Each of these techniques have undergone a rigorous validation process. The measurements of brain structures provide a useful means of non-invasively testing for changes in the brain of the patient. Changes over time in the brain can be detected, and evaluated with respect to the treatment that the patient is receiving.
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) allows us to obtain an accurate profile of the chemical content of the brain. This sensitive technique can detect small changes in the metabolic state of the brain; changes that vary in response to administration of therapeutic agents. The ability to detect these subtle shifts in brain chemistry allows us to identify changes in the brain with more sensitivity than allowed by image analysis. In this respect, NMR spectroscopy can provide early detection of changes in the brain, and serves to compliment the data obtained from image analysis.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of joint disease and a major cause of long-term disability in the United States (US). The only method currently accepted by regulators and clinicians for evaluating disease progression in hip or knee OA is the sequential radiographic assessment of joint space narrowing. An increasing body of literature supports the use of MRI as a primary imaging method to evaluate progression of osteoarthritis. Using 3D and 2D imaging techniques MRI is able to evaluate not only cartilage volume and thickness, but also changes in cartilage glycosaminoglycan content, focal cartilage injuries, and abnormalities of the meniscus which may contribute to development of osteoarthritis. Significant advances in MRI have resulted in the ability to quantitate cartilage morphology (ie, volume, thickness, and surface area) and thereby provide a means to evaluate potential effects of pharmacologic intervention on OA progression.