Translational Oncologic Imaging

Cardiovascular Imaging Group

Radiologische Forschung (Radiology Research)

Muskuloskelettale Radiologie (Musculoskeletal Radiology)

Molekulare Bildgebung (Molecular imaging)



AG Gersing & Schwaiger

Multimodal Musculoskeletal Imaging Research Group

Contact Details

 A. Gersing, B. SchwaigerAlexandra S. Gersing, MD
Benedikt J. Schwaiger, MD

Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology
Technical University of Munich
Klinikum rechts der Isar
Ismaninger Str. 22, 81675 München

phone: +49 (0) 89 4140 2621

Research Profile

Disorders of the musculoskeletal system are among the biggest contributors to disability and reduced quality of life worldwide, with a further increasing prevalence due to the aging global population.

Imaging is a major component of the diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders and also in advancing our knowledge about the underlying mechanisms of pathogenesis.

For conditions affecting the joints and the spine, multiple well-established imaging modalities available in clinical routine for morphological imaging (such as radiography, myelography, CT and MRI), compositional imaging (e.g., dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and quantitative CT (qCT) for bone mineral density (BMD) measurements at the spine and femoral neck) and functional imaging (e.g., diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI)). Moreover, newer techniques such as dual-energy CT, quantitative MR sequences such as quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) and combined T1rho/T2 mapping or ultra-high-resolution gradient-echo sequences are applied in clinical studies and selected clinical cases. In addition, even newer developments such as phase contrast and dark field radiography will have to be applied and evaluated in a clinical context.

Focus of our workgroup is the optimization of these methods and their application to both in ex-vivo models, validated with biomechanical testing, and in-vivo in patients recruited during clinical routine. Our special interest lies in imaging of joint pathologies and injuries as well as in the quantitative assessment of early osteoarthritis biomarkers and posttraumatic changes, imaging of osteoporosis and degenerative spine conditions as well as their interactions and imaging of musculoskeletal tumors.

Working at Klinikum rechts der Isar and the Technical University of Munich enables us to cooperate closely with excellent researchers in biomedical physics and MR physics, but also with clinician scientists with significant expertise in musculoskeletal imaging, orthopedic surgery and other fields.

Our goal is to develop, apply and evaluate techniques and diagnostic algorithms that enable clinical radiologists to accurately diagnose musculoskeletal conditions in early stages and thus help optimizing individual therapeutic decisions.

Group Members

Alexandra S. Gersing, MD

Benedikt J. Schwaiger, MD

Jan Neumann, MD

Thomas Baum, MD

Jan S. Kirschke, MD

Jannis Bodden, MD

Ferdinand Roski, cand. med.

Charlotte Schneider, cand. med.


Musculoskeletal and Quantitative Imaging Research, Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco (Thomas M. Link, MD, PhD; Professor of Radiology; Chief, Musculoskeletal Radiology),

AG Bildgebung der Wirbelsäule, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich (Jan S. Kirschke (Bauer), MD),

Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, University of California, Berkeley (Tony M. Keaveny, PhD; Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering)

Body Magnetic Resonance Research Group, Department of Radiology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich (Dimitrios C. Karampinos, PhD)

Chair of Biomedical Physics, Technical University of Munich (Franz Pfeiffer, PhD)

Top 10 Publications

Gersing AS, Pfeiffer D, Kopp FK, Schwaiger BJ, Knebel C, Haller B, Noël PB, Settles M, Rummeny EJ, Woertler K. Evaluation of MR-derived CT-like images and simulated radiographs compared to conventional radiography in patients with benign and malignant bone tumors. Eur Radiol. 2018 Jun 12.
doi: 10.1007/s00330-018-5450-y. [Epub ahead of print]

Schwaiger BJ, Gersing AS, Hammel J, Mei K, Kopp FK, Kirschke JS, Rummeny EJ, Wörtler K, Baum T, Noël PB. Three-material decomposition with dual-layer spectral CT compared to MRI for the detection of bone marrow edema in patients with acute vertebral fractures. Skeletal Radiol. 2018 May 25.   
doi: 10.1007/s00256-018-2981-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Neumann J, Hofmann FC, Heilmeier U, Ashmeik W, Tang K, Gersing AS, Schwaiger BJ, Nevitt MC, Joseph GB, Lane NE, McCulloch CE, Link TM. Type 2 diabetes patients have accelerated cartilage matrix degeneration compared to diabetes free controls: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2018 Jun;26(6):751-761.   
doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2018.03.010.

Mei K, Schwaiger BJ, Kopp FK, Ehn S, Gersing AS, Kirschke JS, Muenzel D, Fingerle AA, Rummeny EJ, Pfeiffer F, Baum T, Noël PB. Bone mineral density measurements in vertebral specimens and phantoms using dual-layer spectral computed tomography. Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 13;7(1):17519.   
doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17855-4. 

Schwaiger BJ, Mbapte Wamba J, Gersing AS, Nevitt MC, Facchetti L, McCulloch CE, Link TM. Hyperintense signal alteration in the suprapatellar fat pad on MRI is associated with degeneration of the patellofemoral joint over 48 months: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Skeletal Radiol. 2018 Mar;47(3):329-339.   
doi: 10.1007/s00256-017-2771-x. 

Gersing AS, Schwaiger BJ, Nevitt MC, Joseph GB, Chanchek N, Guimaraes JB, Mbapte Wamba J, Facchetti L, McCulloch CE, Link TM. Is Weight Loss Associated with Less Progression of Changes in Knee Articular Cartilage among Obese and Overweight Patients as Assessed with MR Imaging over 48 Months? Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Radiology. 2017 Aug;284(2):508-520.   
doi: 10.1148/radiol.2017161005. 

Schwaiger BJ, Kopperdahl DL, Nardo L, Facchetti L, Gersing AS, Neumann J, Lee KJ, Keaveny TM, Link TM. Vertebral and femoral bone mineral density and bone strength in prostate cancer patients assessed in phantomless PET/CT examinations. Bone. 2017 Aug;101:62-69.   

Gersing AS, Schwaiger BJ, Heilmeier U, Joseph GB, Facchetti L, Kretzschmar M, Lynch JA, McCulloch CE, Nevitt MC, Steinbach LS, Link TM. Evaluation of Chondrocalcinosis and Associated Knee Joint Degeneration Using MR Imaging: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Eur Radiol. 2017 Jun;27(6):2497-2506.  
doi: 10.1007/s00330-016-4608-8. Epub 2016 Oct 4. PubMed PMID: 27704199. 

Schwaiger BJ, Gersing AS, Mbapte Wamba J, Nevitt MC, McCulloch CE, Link TM. Can Signal Abnormalities Detected with MR Imaging in Knee Articular Cartilage Be Used to Predict Development of Morphologic Cartilage Defects? 48-Month Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Radiology. 2016 Oct;281(1):158-67.  
doi: 10.1148/radiol.2016152308. 

Gersing AS, Solka M, Joseph GB, Schwaiger BJ, Heilmeier U, Feuerriegel G, Nevitt MC, McCulloch CE, Link TM. Progression of cartilage degeneration and clinical symptoms in obese and overweight individuals is dependent on the amount of weight loss: 48-month data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2016 Jul;24(7):1126-34.  
doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2016.01.984. 

Complete list of publications on PubMed