Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Sports Med. 2012 Dec;40(12):2853-61. doi: 10.1177/0363546512462009. Epub 2012 Oct 29.

Infrared fiber optic probe evaluation of degenerative cartilage correlates to histological grading.

Author information

  • 1Department of Bioengineering, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA.



Osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative cartilage disease, results in alterations of the chemical and structural properties of tissue. Arthroscopic evaluation of full-depth tissue composition is limited and would require tissue harvesting, which is inappropriate in daily routine. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is a modality based on molecular vibrations of matrix components that can be used in conjunction with fiber optics to acquire quantitative compositional data from the cartilage matrix.


To develop a model based on infrared spectra of articular cartilage to predict the histological Mankin score as an indicator of tissue quality.


Comparative laboratory study.


Infrared fiber optic probe (IFOP) spectra were collected from nearly normal and more degraded regions of tibial plateau articular cartilage harvested during knee arthroplasty (N = 61). Each region was graded using a modified Mankin score. A multivariate partial least squares algorithm using second-derivative spectra was developed to predict the histological modified Mankin score.


The partial least squares model derived from IFOP spectra predicted the modified Mankin score with a prediction error of approximately 1.4, which resulted in approximately 72% of the Mankin-scored tissues being predicted correctly and 96% being predicted within 1 grade of their true score.


These data demonstrate that IFOP spectral parameters correlate with histological tissue grade and can be used to provide information on tissue composition.


Infrared fiber optic probe studies have significant potential for the evaluation of cartilage tissue quality without the need for tissue harvest. Combined with arthroscopy, IFOP analysis could facilitate the definition of tissue margins in debridement procedures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk