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Early Diagnosis of Cartilage Damage

Ontario Veterinary College researcher, Dr. Mark Hurtig, is developing a new non-invasive way to assess cartilage health, which could improve veterinarians’ ability to diagnose injuries and hard to pinpoint lameness, such as early osteoarthritis. While current technologies, including physical exams, diagnostic injections, x-ray images and ultrasound, are limited, Dr. Hurtig has found that using electroarthrography can provide valuable information about the quantity of articular cartilage. Electroarthrography (EAG), developed by human medicine researchers at the Université de Montréal and École Polytechnique, employs dime-sized electrodes, placed on the skin, to record electrical signals produced by joint cartilage when loaded and unloaded. The researchers reasoned that these electrical signals might be measured on the skin surface similar to electrocardiography (ECG) for the heart. They discovered that people with knee arthritis had lower electrical potentials than those with healthy knee joints. Thus, the concept of EAG was born. Dr. Hurtig, and his team of…

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