Arthritis Center Director C. Kent Kwoh, MD, to present at International Workshop on Osteoarthritis Imaging

May 25, 2023

University of Arizona Arthritis Center Director C. Kent Kwoh, MD, has been selected to deliver an oral presentation at the 2023 International Workshop on Osteoarthritis Imaging. This year's conference will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland. Dr. Kwoh's presentation will highlight the session on 'Pain in Osteoarthritis', slated for Friday, June 30. The title of his presentation is 'EXTENT OF SUBREGIONAL INVOLVEMENT OF SUBCHONDRAL BML (Bone Marrow Lesions) IN INCIDENT KNEE OA (Osteoarthritis) IS ASSOCIATED WITH WEIGHT-BEARING KNEE PAIN'. 

Abstract Introduction/Overview:
Subchondral BMLs have been associated with incident and progressive pain and reported to fluctuate along with concurrent fluctuations in symptoms. While associated with other structural, cellular, and biochemical features of OA that cause pain, BMLs may contribute directly to OA pain via cytokines, NGF, and altered biomechanics in knee OA, though evidence surrounding the role of BMLs and weight-bearing pain, specifically, is limited.

About C. Kent Kwoh, MD:
An internationally-recognized expert in the identification, development and progression of osteoarthritis and the characterization of pain patterns in osteoarthritis, Dr. C. Kent Kwoh serves as director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, one of the first four Centers of Excellence in the University of Arizona College of Medicine. He is a Professor of Medicine and Medical Imaging in the University of Arizona College of Medicine - Tucson, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology, holds the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Endowed Chair in Rheumatology and serves as Director of the UA College of Medicine - Tucson Rheumatology Fellowship Program. He was named to these positions in July, 2013.

Dr. Kwoh earned his bachelor’s degree in honors biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1975 and his medical doctorate from the the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1979. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois Hospitals in 1982 and a fellowship in rheumatology at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in 1984. Before coming to the University of Arizona, Dr. Kwoh was the Director of Clinical Research at the University of Pittsburgh Arthritis Institute as well as a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology from 2000 until 2013. Simultaneously, he held a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute while working as a staff physician in addition to being Rheumatology Section Chief in the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare Systems.

His major research interests are in outcome assessment and the examination of risk factors for the development and progression of a broad spectrum of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases. His current work focuses on the identification of biomarkers – most notably MRI imaging biomarkers - for the development and/or progression of knee osteoarthritis and the characterization of knee pain patterns in osteoarthritis. He also has a major interest in the reduction and ultimately the elimination of racial disparities in the management of arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases. 

Dr. Kwoh completed research as the Principal Investigator (PI) on a five-year, $6.1 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) unit of the National Institutes of Health, for a study entitled 'Risk of Incident Knee Osteoarthritis and Clinical Outcomes Based on Imaging Biomarkers'.  Following this grant, in September, 2017, he was awarded $2.1 million dollars - also from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) unit of the National Institutes of Health - for a study entitled 'Tracking Treatable Tissues: Change in qMRI Biomarkers and Future Cartilage Loss'. 

In 2021, Dr. Kwoh and his team were awarded another $2.1 million dollars from National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) unit of the National Institutes of Health, for a study to determine if changes in knee structure can predict clinical outcomes and treatments in people with osteoarthritis.

In 2022, he and his team were awarded a $3.4 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) unit of the National Institutes of Health to further his studies on the determinants of rapid knee deterioration. This leading-edge study targets the identification of novel measures of knee structure on x- rays that can predict who experiences rapid knee deterioration, as well as the need for knee replacement in the future. The study is titled: “Identifying determinants of rapid structural and/or clinical progression in knee osteoarthritis by quantitative assessment of structural features on radiographs”. This grant brings Dr. Kwoh's NIH funding while at the UA to over $10 million and total career funding from the NIH of over $75 million – continuous since 1989. 

He is a member of the Arthritis Foundation, the American Federation for Clinical Research, the Osteoarthritis Research Society International, ISIS Fund Network of the Society for Women’s Health Research and was a founding fellow and member of the American College of Rheumatology. He is the author or co-author of more than 300 scientific journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Kwoh has served on the editorial board of Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and Arthritis Care and Research and is an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other professional journals including Arthritis and Rheumatism, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Arthritis Research and Therapy, Arthritis Care and Research, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and the Journal of Rheumatology.

Dr. Kwoh has also been awarded numerous honors throughout his 40-year tenure as a rheumatologist and most recently earned one of the University of Arizona College of Medicine’s top honors: The Mentoring Award. He has mentored nearly 50 medical and doctoral students, residents and fellows. In addition, he was named as the University of Arizona Asian-American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association's Outstanding Faculty award winner and in 2019 was named as the Medical Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation's Southern Arizona chapter.

His clinical interests include knee, hip and hand osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory back pain (spondyloarthritis) and lupus.

Dr. Kwoh is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.