Musculoskeletal radiology


Head of Department:
Prof. Dr. med. Michael Uder

Musculo-Skeletal Imaging

Group leaders:

  • Prof. Dr. Frank Roemer
  • Dr. Rafael Heiß


The focus of musculo-skeletal research at the Department of Radiology is the characterization of osteoarthritis, muscle pathologies and sports-related disorders by MRI. This includes tissue evaluation in osteoarthritis through comprehensive joint assessment and the development and validation of quantitative and semiquantitative evaluation tools for application in cross-sectional and longitudinal fashion. Further, the role of post-traumatic changes and later osteoarthritis development has been a topic of on-going research, which includes multi-dimensional assessment of anterior cruciate ligament injury and its sequelae. The group has been involved in large analyses of imaging data of the Rio 2016 Olympics focusing on joint injuries.

A close collaboration with the Department of Radiology at Boston University School of Medicine is on-going where Prof. Roemer holds a position as Adjunct Professor of Radiology and as Co-Director of the Quantitative Imaging Center (QIC), a research group addressing complementary research questions. The department is partner of the Applied Public-Private Research enabling OsteoArthritis Clinical Headway (APPROACH) consortium, which received a 14 million Euro grant from the European Commission’s Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).

An additional focus of the group is MRI of muscle pathologies and interventions including application of advanced metabolic imaging at. Currently the group is leading a multi-center effort applying 7T MRI for assessment of wrist disorders using morphologic and compositional imaging at 7T MRI funded by the German Roentgen Society (DRG).

Representative image illustrating some of the group’s activities:

A. The group is leading a multicenter effort applying 7T MRI for the assessment of wrist disorders. The example shows a segmented image of lunate cartilage. B. Beyond cartilage, compositional changes of intrinsic wrist ligaments and other soft tissues are evaluate. C. The group is a leader in development and application of scoring systems to evaluate MRI of osteoarthritic joints. Image example shows segmentation of knee articular cartilage from high resolution 3D MRI. D. Bone structure analysis based on radiography and MRI is another focus and has resulted in a successful collaboration with Harvard University. E. The group is active in developing quantitative methods to evaluate synovial inflammation using MRI. Image example shows color-coded map of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI of an osteoarthritic knee joint. F. Morphologic and ultrastructural changes of muscle tissue in the context of trauma and overload are being evaluated in multiple projects. Image example shows exercise-induced muscle changes as assessed by T2 mapping (colored in green) in the medial gastrocnemius muscle of the calf.

Recent Publications (selection):

  1. Heiss R, Guermazi A, Jarraya M, Engebretsen L, Hotfiel T, Parva P, Roemer FW. Prevalence of MRI-Detected Ankle Injuries in Athletes in the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics. Acad Radiol. 2019 Dec;26(12):1605-1617.
  2. Heiss R, Hotfiel T, Kellermann M, May MS, Wuest W, Janka R, Nagel AM, Uder M, Hammon M. Effect of Compression Garments on the Development of Edema and Soreness in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). J Sports Sci Med. 2018 Aug 14;17(3):392-401. 
  3. Roemer FW, Demehri S, Omoumi P, Link TM, Kijowski R, Saarakkala S, Crema MD, Guermazi A. State of the Art: Imaging of Osteoarthritis – Revisited 2020. Radiology. 2020 Jul;296(1):5-21.
  4. Roemer FW, Lohmander LS, Englund M, Guermazi A, Åkesson A, Frobell R. Development of MRI-defined structural tissue damage after anterior cruciate ligament injury over 5 years: the KANON Study. Radiology 202. In Press.
  5. Treutlein C, Bäuerle T, Nagel AM, Guermazi A, Kleyer A, Simon D, Schett G, Hepp T, Uder M, Roemer FW. Comprehensive assessment of knee joint synovitis at 7 T MRI using contrast-enhanced and non-enhanced sequences. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2020 Feb 21;21(1):116.

Full list of publications at:

International cooperations
  • Prof. A. Bogdanov, University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA
  • Prof. W. Fahl, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • Prof. A. Guermazi, Boston University School of Medicine, USA
  • Prof. J. Titze, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  • Prof. S. Trattnig, Medizinische Universität Wien, Wien, Österreich