New camera detects early rheumatism

New camera detects early rheumatism

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Improved rheumatism diagnosis thanks to new foot camera

A newly developed camera makes the blood circulation in the forefoot visible and shows changes in the blood flow in the toes and feet. The images can help doctors to identify rheumatic diseases more quickly.

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the medical device manufacturer Xiralite GmbH recently presented the prototype of a new foot camera. With the help of fluorescence imaging and a contrast agent, the blood flow in the superficial vessels of the toe joints can be made visible. In this way, rheumatic diseases and circulatory disorders, which can arise, for example, in diabetes mellitus, can be diagnosed.

Rheumatism can manifest itself through many different diseases

Rheumatism is a collective term for numerous different musculoskeletal disorders of the movement organs, including

  • rheumatoid arthritis (chronic polyarthritis),
  • Spondyloarthritis,
  • Psoriatic arthritis,
  • Collagenosis,
  • Vasculitis,
  • Osteoarthritis,
  • Crystal arthropathies,
  • Osteoporosis,
  • Fibromyalgia.

Prevent permanent damage from early detection

The more quickly a rheumatic disease is recognized, the sooner permanent damage to joints and bones can be prevented. The new foot camera should help to recognize such diseases earlier and faster.

How does the new foot camera work?

Patients are first injected with the contrast agent indocyanine green. Then the foot is held under the camera. LEDs in the near-infrared spectral range make the contrast medium and thus the blood flow in the foot visible. The examination is painless, without side effects and only takes a few minutes. In addition, the new diagnostic tool detects rheumatism earlier than an X-ray machine, and the procedure is cheaper than magnetic resonance imaging. According to the PTB, the prototype has already been extensively and extensively tested. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Imke Frischmuth: Better early rheumatism detection thanks to new foot camera, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (accessed: October 15, 2019),
  • German Society for Rheumatology: Rheumatism in numbers (accessed: October 15, 2019),

Video: Rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis (January 2023).