University of Arizona Arthritis Center Director C. Kent Kwoh, MD, will lead a study that seeks to develop methods to predict who will experience rapid knee deterioration or need knee replacements in the future. Thanks to a $3.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers at the University of Arizona Arthritis Center will undertake a study that seeks to identify determinants of rapid knee deterioration.
No treatments are currently available to prevent osteoarthritis or halt its progression, due in part to challenges in identifying knees at highest risk for structural progression. This new study will examine x-rays to help predict rapid knee deterioration, as well as the need for knee replacement.
Researchers plan to start by describing distinctive paths of knee symptoms and structural deterioration over time in 10,000 study participants between the ages of 45 and 90. They hope to identify novel measures of knee structure on X-rays to help predict who experiences rapid knee deterioration, as well as the need for knee replacement in the future.
This work has the potential to improve the way new treatments for knee osteoarthritis are evaluated by identifying patients who are most likely to benefit; improving the way knee structure is measured; and contributing to the understanding of the different types of damage that lead to debilitating knee osteoarthritis.
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About Dr. Kent Kwoh:
Dr. Kwoh is a Professor of Medicine and Medical Imaging in the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and holds the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Endowed Chair in Rheumatology. He serves as director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center, a Center of Excellence in the University of Arizona College of Medicine. 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 at 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'. In September, 2017, he was awarded a $2.1 million dollar grant, 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 dollar grant, also 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. Dr. Kwoh is also the co-Investigator or executive committee member on four additional studies with both the NIH and the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs. In 2022, Dr. Kwoh and his collaborators were awarded $3,448,306 for a five-year study entitled: “Identifying determinants of rapid structural and/or clinical progression in knee osteoarthritis by quantitative assessment of structural features on radiographs” with funding from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the NIH.
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 over 270 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 won many awards including the Northeast Region Senior Rheumatology Scholar Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and was a finalist in the post-doctoral competition from the Society for Medical Decision Making. In November 2015, he was named the University of Arizona Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association's Outstanding Faculty award winner. In 2019, he was named as the Medical Honoree for the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run - Tucson.
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.