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Approved research

AUtomated Generation of Musculoskeletal phENotypes from the UK biobank exTended imaging study (AUGMENT Study)

Principal Investigator: Dr Celia Gregson
Approved Research ID: 17295
Approval date: August 1st 2016

Lay summary

We aim to further develop and refine a suite of automated analyses generating secondary variables from DXA scans. These methods will then be used to derive a comprehensive set of musculoskeletal phenotypes from 100,000 participants in the extended imaging study, including hip and knee shape, vertebral fractures and scoliosis. The relationship between these DXA phenotypes and clinical outcomes related to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, such as fractures and joint replacements, will subsequently be explored. We also plan to identify novel molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of musculoskeletal disease, based on genetic factors associated with DXA phenotypes and clinical outcomes. We aim to build a major musculoskeletal research resource for Biobank, by using state-of-the-art DXA methods, and deliver an augmented musculoskeletal phenotype for future Biobank researchers. We then aim to use these newly derived data to better understand the determinants of musculoskeletal disease, for example spinal fractures (as seen on DXA VFA scans), joint shape (hip and knee - which may predispose to osteoathritis), scoliosis (which can cause back pain). These musculoskeletal diseases are common and therefore our findings will have important impact for health throughout our society. Whole body scans: a. Regional bone density will be extracted using semi-automated methods to check for artefacts and regional alignment b. Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) will be derived based on automated methods in development Hip scans: a. Principal components of hip shape will be obtained using automated methods in development b. Hip structural analysis will be performed using available automated software to extract measures of hip strength Knee scans: Principal components of knee shape will be obtained using automated methods in development Whole spine scans: Vertebral fractures/ deformities will be detected using automated methods after further developmental refinement Phase 1: (n=5000) methods development Phase II: (n=100,000) methods application (i.e. the full cohort in whom DXA is available)