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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2005 Oct;44(10):1311-6. Epub 2005 Jul 19.

The clinical correlates of articular cartilage defects in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis: a prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Central and Eastern Clinical School, Alfred Hospital, Commercial Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether articular cartilage defects are associated with cartilage loss and joint replacement in subjects with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS:

One hundred and seventeen subjects with symptomatic knee OA underwent magnetic resonance imaging of their dominant knee at baseline and 2 yr later. Cartilage defects were identified as prevalent (defect score > or =2) in each knee compartment. Occurrence of joint replacement by 4 yr was documented.

RESULTS:

Cartilage defects were present in 81% of medial, 64% of lateral tibiofemoral compartments and 55% of patellar cartilages. Annual patellar cartilage loss was highest in those with defects compared with no defects (5.5% vs 3.2%, P = 0.01). Tibial cartilage loss was not associated with defects in the medial (4.6% vs 5.8%, P = 0.42) or lateral (4.7% vs 6.5%, P = 0.21) tibial cartilages. Higher total cartilage defect scores (8-15) were associated with a 6.0-fold increased risk of joint replacement over 4 yr compared with those with lower scores (2-7) (95% confidence interval 1.6, 22.3), independently of potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Articular cartilage defects are associated with disease severity in knee OA and predict patellar cartilage loss and knee replacement.

PMID:
16030084
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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