RPH Registrar dedicated to the bone

Photograph of Dr Shereen Paramalingam
April 9, 2018

RPH Registrar Shereen Paramalingam has recently been awarded a registrar research fellowship for her project which aims to provide improved care for patients who suffer from muscle diseases.

Dr Paramalingam said the 12-month study has the potential, upon completion, to provide patients with an alternate imaging assessment of inflammatory myopathies, especially those with a contraindication to MRI.

“MRI has traditionally been the conventional imaging modality in the evaluation of idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM),” said Dr Paramalingam.

“However the limitations of MRI include availability, cost, time to scan delays and patient discomfort."

“Muscles are superficial structures that can be assessed by ultrasonography (US). Sheer Wave Electrography (SWE) is a developing novel form of US that uses high intensity pulse producing shear wave to study elasticity of tissue. In addition, ultrasound is commonly available, cheaper, and a more convenient non-invasive imaging tool that could help discriminate normal and pathological tissue."

“The quick assessment of muscle with ultrasound also has the potential to reduce hospital length of stay, have cost saving implications and aid in early diagnosis with its real-time capabilities and potential to guide muscle biopsies in the future. The possibility of assessing the degree of tissue elasticity by elastography would provide extra information, useful not only for the diagnosis, but also when following up dynamic structural changes in the involved muscles.”

IIM is a debilitating disease which is increasing in annual incidence. Ultrasound and its novel form Sheer Wave Elastography could aid in the understanding of muscle diseases, providing further insight to the diagnosis and management of IIM.”

“This study will hopefully provide a strong foundation for further studies, validating the role of US and SWE in the diagnosis, management and understanding of pathology in not only inflammatory but potentially other forms of muscle diseases.”

Dr Paramalingam said the fellowship has been an exciting journey and has allowed her to explore her interest in inflammatory myopathies.

“Winning the fellowship will help further realise my research vision to explore novel diagnostic therapies that will not only improve the outcomes of my patients, but create a paradigm shift in the way we view and manage muscle diseases.”