Longitudinal MRI structural findings observed in accelerated knee osteoarthritis: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

Sarah C. Foreman, Jan Neumann, Gabby B. Joseph, Michael C. Nevitt, Charles E. McCulloch, Nancy E Lane, Thomas M. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To analyze structural, longitudinal MRI findings during the development of accelerated knee osteoarthritis (AKOA) over 4 years. Materials and methods: From the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), knees with no radiographic osteoarthritis (KL 0/1) developing advanced-stage osteoarthritis (KL 3/4; AKOA) within a 4-year (y) timeframe were selected. MRIs were graded using the modified Whole-Organ Magnetic Resonance Imaging Score (WORMS) at the beginning of the 4-year timeframe (index visit), at 2-year, and 4-year follow-up. Morphological and clinical findings associated with KL 3/4 onset within 2 years compared to 4 years were assessed using generalized estimating equations. Results: AKOA was found in 162 knees of 149 subjects (age 63.25 ± 8.3; 103 females; BMI 29.4 ± 3.9). Moderate to severe meniscal lesions WORMS ≥ 3 were present in 25% (41/162) at the index visit, 64% (104/162) at 2-year and 93% (151/162) at 4-year follow-up. Meniscal extrusion was the most prevalent finding (ranging from 18% at the index visit, 45% at 2-year and 94% at 4-year follow-up) and root tears were the most common types of tears (9% at the index visit; 22% at 2 years and 38% at 4 years). Risk factors associated with KL 3/4 onset within 2 years included root tears at the index visit (adjusted OR, 2.82; 95% CI: 1.33, 6.00; p = 0.007) and incident knee injury (42%, 49/116 vs. 24%, 11/46, p = 0.032). Conclusions: Meniscal abnormalities, in particular extrusion and root tears, were the most prevalent morphological features found in subjects with AKOA. These results suggest that meniscal abnormalities have a significant role in accelerated progression of OA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSkeletal Radiology
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Cartilage
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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