Send to

Choose Destination
Radiology. 2011 Nov;261(2):507-15. doi: 10.1148/radiol.11102234. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Knee cartilage T2 characteristics and evolution in relation to morphologic abnormalities detected at 3-T MR imaging: a longitudinal study of the normal control cohort from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.

Author information

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif, USA.



To determine the frequency of degenerative knee morphologic abnormalities in asymptomatic individuals by using 3-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and to investigate the characteristics and evolution of cartilage T2 values in relation to morphologic abnormalities with a longitudinal study.


The study was approved by the institutional review board and was compliant with HIPAA. Ninety-five asymptomatic subjects aged 45-78 years who were free of risk factors for osteoarthritis (OA) were selected from the Osteoarthritis Initiative normal control cohort and examined with radiography and 3-T MR imaging. Data obtained at both baseline and 2-year follow-up were analyzed. OA-related knee abnormalities were analyzed by using the whole-organ MR imaging score (WORMS). Cartilage T2 maps were generated by using sagittal two-dimensional multiecho spin-echo images of the right knee. Statistical significance was determined with the Student t test, the paired t test, a mixed random effects model, one-way analysis of variance, and a multiple linear regression model.


Knee abnormalities were identified with a high frequency (90% at baseline and 92% at 2-year follow-up). The prevalence of hyaline cartilage lesions was particularly high (86% at baseline and 84% at follow-up). A significant longitudinal increase in T2 was detected in the tibiofemoral cartilage but not the patellofemoral cartilage (P = .0072). The longitudinal change in T2 was significantly associated with worsening of the cartilage WORMS (P = .038).


Asymptomatic subjects have a high frequency of OA-related morphologic abnormalities. A significant increase in tibiofemoral cartilage T2 was detected over the 2-year period. A greater increase in T2 was associated with increased progression of cartilage morphologic abnormalities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center