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Eur J Radiol. 2019 Sep;118:161-168. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2019.07.013. Epub 2019 Jul 20.

Baseline structural tissue pathology is not strongly associated with longitudinal change in transverse relaxation time (T2) in knees without osteoarthritis.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) & Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Maximiliansplatz 3, 91054, Erlangen, Germany; Quantitative Imaging Center, Department of Radiology, Boston University School of Medicine, FGH Building, 3rd Floor, 820 Harrison Avenue, 02118, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: frank.roemer@uk-erlangen.de.
2
Institute of Anatomy, Paracelsus Medical University Salzburg & Nuremberg, Strubergasse 21, 5020, Salzburg, Austria; Chondrometrics GmbH, 83404, Ainring, Germany.
3
Julius Wolff Institute, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany.
4
Quantitative Imaging Center, Department of Radiology, Boston University School of Medicine, FGH Building, 3rd Floor, 820 Harrison Avenue, 02118, Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate whether baseline MRI-defined structural abnormalities are associated with subsequent change in laminar femorotibial cartilage transverse relaxation time (T2) of participants without radiographic signs, symptoms or risk factors for knee osteoarthritis (OA).

METHOD:

We studied all right knees with longitudinal MRI data of the refined Osteoarthritis Initiative Healthy Reference cohort. Baseline osteophytes, effusion-synovitis, Hoffa-synovitis, bone marrow lesions, cartilage lesions, and meniscus morphology and - extrusion were scored semiquantitatively from MR images by an expert reader. Deep and superficial layer cartilage T2 was computed in the medial and lateral femorotibial compartment (MFTC/LFTC) at baseline and at 1- and 4-year follow-up from multi-echo spin-echo MR images. Statistical analyses were performed using UNIANOVA.

RESULTS:

82 participants (age 54.1 ± 7.2y, BMI 24.2 ± 3.0 kg/m²; 61% women, bilateral Kellgren-Lawrence 0) were studied. Number of baseline MRI pathologies was not significantly associated with longitudinal change in MFTC or LFTC cartilage T2 over 1 or 4 years. Feature-specific analyses suggested that presence of baseline MFTC osteophytes may be associated with prolongation in superficial MFTC cartilage T2 over one (0.8 vs. 0.0 ms, p = 0.02) and four years (2.3 vs. 0.9 ms, p = 0.01), and that MFTC meniscal damage or extrusion may be associated with prolongation in deep layer T2 times over the first year (0.7 vs. 2.1 ms, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study does not provide evidence that, in knees without radiographic OA, baseline structural MRI abnormalities are strongly related to compositional progression during normal aging and/or the potentially earliest phases of the disease as measured by cartilage T2.

KEYWORDS:

MRI; Osteoarthritis; Prediction; T2

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