• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of annrheumdAnnals of the Rheumatic DiseasesCurrent TOCInstructions for authors
Ann Rheum Dis. Jul 2005; 64(7): 1038–1042.
Published online Jan 7, 2005. doi:  10.1136/ard.2004.029355
PMCID: PMC1755566

Factors influencing longitudinal change in knee cartilage volume measured from magnetic resonance imaging in healthy men


Objective: To determine whether the amount of joint cartilage in healthy, middle aged men is stable or changes over time, and what factors may influence this.

Methods: In a cohort study, 28 healthy men (70% of the original cohort; mean (SD) age, 51.9 (12.8) years) had baseline knee magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of their dominant knee and repeat MRI of the same knee approximately 2.0 years later. Knee cartilage volume was measured at baseline and follow up. Risk factors assessed at baseline, including sex hormones and metabolic bone markers, were tested for their association with change in knee cartilage volume over time.

Results: Mean (SD) reduction in tibial cartilage volume per year was 162 (93) µl. This represented a 2.8% reduction in total tibial articular cartilage per year (95% confidence interval, 0.2% to 5.5%). Tibial cartilage loss was associated with serum free testosterone level, independently of age, body mass index, baseline tibial cartilage volume tibial plateau area, and total bone mineral content. Overall, testosterone accounted for 14.5% (partial r2) of the variation in change in tibial cartilage volume. There was a trend towards a positive association between tibial cartilage loss and urinary N-telopeptide cross-links of type I collagen (Ntx) (p = 0.057).

Conclusions: Further studies will be required to determine whether hormonal manipulation or treatment with antiresorptive drugs will reduce the risk of knee osteoarthritis in men in later life.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (77K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • KELLGREN JH, MOORE R. Generalized osteoarthritis and Heberden's nodes. Br Med J. 1952 Jan 26;1(4751):181–187. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Felson DT, Anderson JJ, Naimark A, Walker AM, Meenan RF. Obesity and knee osteoarthritis. The Framingham Study. Ann Intern Med. 1988 Jul 1;109(1):18–24. [PubMed]
  • Spector TD, Cicuttini F, Baker J, Loughlin J, Hart D. Genetic influences on osteoarthritis in women: a twin study. BMJ. 1996 Apr 13;312(7036):940–943. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Felson DT, Lawrence RC, Dieppe PA, Hirsch R, Helmick CG, Jordan JM, Kington RS, Lane NE, Nevitt MC, Zhang Y, et al. Osteoarthritis: new insights. Part 1: the disease and its risk factors. Ann Intern Med. 2000 Oct 17;133(8):635–646. [PubMed]
  • Brandt KD, Heilman DK, Slemenda C, Katz BP, Mazzuca SA, Braunstein EM, Byrd D. Quadriceps strength in women with radiographically progressive osteoarthritis of the knee and those with stable radiographic changes. J Rheumatol. 1999 Nov;26(11):2431–2437. [PubMed]
  • Peterfy CG, van Dijke CF, Janzen DL, Glüer CC, Namba R, Majumdar S, Lang P, Genant HK. Quantification of articular cartilage in the knee with pulsed saturation transfer subtraction and fat-suppressed MR imaging: optimization and validation. Radiology. 1994 Aug;192(2):485–491. [PubMed]
  • Cicuttini F, Forbes A, Morris K, Darling S, Bailey M, Stuckey S. Gender differences in knee cartilage volume as measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 1999 May;7(3):265–271. [PubMed]
  • Wluka Anita E, Stuckey Stephen, Snaddon Judith, Cicuttini Flavia M. The determinants of change in tibial cartilage volume in osteoarthritic knees. Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Aug;46(8):2065–2072. [PubMed]
  • Wluka AE, Wolfe R, Davis SR, Stuckey S, Cicuttini FM. Tibial cartilage volume change in healthy postmenopausal women: a longitudinal study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Apr;63(4):444–449. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cicuttini FM, Wluka AE, Forbes A, Wolfe R. Comparison of tibial cartilage volume and radiologic grade of the tibiofemoral joint. Arthritis Rheum. 2003 Mar;48(3):682–688. [PubMed]
  • Jones G, Ding Changhai, Scott F, Glisson M, Cicuttini F. Early radiographic osteoarthritis is associated with substantial changes in cartilage volume and tibial bone surface area in both males and females. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2004 Feb;12(2):169–174. [PubMed]
  • Wluka AE, Wolfe R, Stuckey S, Cicuttini FM. How does tibial cartilage volume relate to symptoms in subjects with knee osteoarthritis? Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Mar;63(3):264–268. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cicuttini FM, Jones G, Forbes A, Wluka AE. Rate of cartilage loss at two years predicts subsequent total knee arthroplasty: a prospective study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2004 Sep;63(9):1124–1127. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Burgkart R, Glaser C, Hinterwimmer S, Hudelmaier M, Englmeier K-H, Reiser M, Eckstein F. Feasibility of T and Z scores from magnetic resonance imaging data for quantification of cartilage loss in osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2003 Oct;48(10):2829–2835. [PubMed]
  • Cicuttini FM, Wluka A, Bailey M, O'Sullivan R, Poon C, Yeung S, Ebeling PR. Factors affecting knee cartilage volume in healthy men. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2003 Feb;42(2):258–262. [PubMed]
  • Södergård R, Bäckström T, Shanbhag V, Carstensen H. Calculation of free and bound fractions of testosterone and estradiol-17 beta to human plasma proteins at body temperature. J Steroid Biochem. 1982 Jun;16(6):801–810. [PubMed]
  • Chuang-Stein C, Tong DM. The impact and implication of regression to the mean on the design and analysis of medical investigations. Stat Methods Med Res. 1997 Jun;6(2):115–128. [PubMed]
  • Raynauld J-P, Kauffmann C, Beaudoin G, Berthiaume M-J, de Guise JA, Bloch DA, Camacho F, Godbout B, Altman RD, Hochberg M, et al. Reliability of a quantification imaging system using magnetic resonance images to measure cartilage thickness and volume in human normal and osteoarthritic knees. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2003 May;11(5):351–360. [PubMed]
  • Cummings SR, Black D. Should perimenopausal women be screened for osteoporosis? Ann Intern Med. 1986 Jun;104(6):817–823. [PubMed]
  • Fernihough JK, Richmond RS, Carlson CS, Cherpes T, Holly JM, Loeser RF. Estrogen replacement therapy modulation of the insulin-like growth factor system in monkey knee joints. Arthritis Rheum. 1999 Oct;42(10):2103–2111. [PubMed]
  • Nasatzky E, Schwartz Z, Soskolne WA, Brooks BP, Dean DD, Boyan BD, Ornoy A. Evidence for receptors specific for 17 beta-estradiol and testosterone in chondrocyte cultures. Connect Tissue Res. 1994;30(4):277–294. [PubMed]
  • Rucker Diana, Ezzat Shereen, Diamandi Anastasia, Khosravi Javad, Hanley David A. IGF-I and testosterone levels as predictors of bone mineral density in healthy, community-dwelling men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2004 Apr;60(4):491–499. [PubMed]
  • Karlsson MK, Linden C, Karlsson C, Johnell O, Obrant K, Seeman E. Exercise during growth and bone mineral density and fractures in old age. Lancet. 2000 Feb 5;355(9202):469–470. [PubMed]
  • Bettica Paolo, Cline Gary, Hart Deborah J, Meyer Joan, Spector Tim D. Evidence for increased bone resorption in patients with progressive knee osteoarthritis: longitudinal results from the Chingford study. Arthritis Rheum. 2002 Dec;46(12):3178–3184. [PubMed]
  • Rosen HN, Dresner-Pollak R, Moses AC, Rosenblatt M, Zeind AJ, Clemens JD, Greenspan SL. Specificity of urinary excretion of cross-linked N-telopeptides of type I collagen as a marker of bone turnover. Calcif Tissue Int. 1994 Jan;54(1):26–29. [PubMed]
  • Gertz BJ, Shao P, Hanson DA, Quan H, Harris ST, Genant HK, Chesnut CH, 3rd, Eyre DR. Monitoring bone resorption in early postmenopausal women by an immunoassay for cross-linked collagen peptides in urine. J Bone Miner Res. 1994 Feb;9(2):135–142. [PubMed]
  • Garnero P, Shih WJ, Gineyts E, Karpf DB, Delmas PD. Comparison of new biochemical markers of bone turnover in late postmenopausal osteoporotic women in response to alendronate treatment. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1994 Dec;79(6):1693–1700. [PubMed]
  • Dieppe P. Subchondral bone should be the main target for the treatment of pain and disease progression in osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 1999 May;7(3):325–326. [PubMed]
  • Hannan MT, Anderson JJ, Zhang Y, Levy D, Felson DT. Bone mineral density and knee osteoarthritis in elderly men and women. The Framingham Study. Arthritis Rheum. 1993 Dec;36(12):1671–1680. [PubMed]
  • Cicuttini FM, Wluka AE, Stuckey SL. Tibial and femoral cartilage changes in knee osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2001 Oct;60(10):977–980. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Cicuttini FM, Wluka AE, Wang Y, Stuckey SL. Longitudinal study of changes in tibial and femoral cartilage in knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Jan;50(1):94–97. [PubMed]

Articles from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • Compound
    PubChem Compound links
  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles
  • Substance
    PubChem Substance links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...