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Radiology. 2008 Apr;247(1):154-61. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2471070688.

Cartilage T2 assessment at 3-T MR imaging: in vivo differentiation of normal hyaline cartilage from reparative tissue after two cartilage repair procedures--initial experience.

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MR Center, Department of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Lazarettgasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.



To prospectively compare cartilage T2 values after microfracture therapy (MFX) and matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) repair procedures.


The study had institutional review board approval by the ethics committee of the Medical University of Vienna; informed consent was obtained. Twenty patients who underwent MFX or MACT (10 in each group) were enrolled. For comparability, patients of each group were matched by mean age (MFX, 40.0 years +/- 15.4 [standard deviation]; MACT, 41.0 years +/- 8.9) and postoperative interval (MFX, 28.6 months +/- 5.2; MACT, 27.4 months +/- 13.1). Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was performed with a 3-T MR imager, and T2 maps were calculated from a multiecho spin-echo measurement. Global, as well as zonal, quantitative T2 values were calculated within the cartilage repair area and within cartilage sites determined to be morphologically normal articular cartilage. Additionally, with consideration of the zonal organization, global regions of interest were subdivided into deep and superficial areas. Differences between cartilage sites and groups were calculated by using a three-way analysis of variance.


Quantitative T2 assessment of normal native hyaline cartilage showed similar results for all patients and a significant trend of increasing T2 values from deep to superficial zones (P < .05). In cartilage repair areas after MFX, global mean T2 was significantly reduced (P < .05), whereas after MACT, mean T2 was not reduced (P > or = .05). For zonal variation, repair tissue after MFX showed no significant trend between different depths (P > or = .05), in contrast to repair tissue after MACT, in which a significant increase from deep to superficial zones (P < .05) could be observed.


Quantitative T2 mapping seems to reflect differences in repair tissues formed after two surgical cartilage repair procedures. (c) RSNA, 2008.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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