T2 relaxation time measurements are limited in monitoring progression, once advanced cartilage defects at the knee occur: Longitudinal data from the osteoarthritis initiative

Pia M. Jungmann, Mareen S. Kraus, Lorenzo Nardo, Hans Liebl, Hamza Alizai, Gabby B. Joseph, Felix Liu, John Lynch, Chuck E. McCulloch, Michael C. Nevitt, Thomas M. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To study the natural evolution of cartilage T2 relaxation times in knees with various extents of morphological cartilage abnormalities, assessed with 3 Tesla MRI from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Materials and Methods: Right knee MRIs of 245, 45- to 60-year-old individuals without radiographic osteoarthritis (OA) were included. Cartilage was segmented and T2 maps were generated in five compartments (patella, medial and lateral femoral condyle, medial, and lateral tibia) at baseline and 2-year follow-up. We examined the association of T2 values and 2-year change of T2 values with various Whole-Organ MR Imaging Scores (WORMS). Statistical analysis was performed with analysis of variance and Students t-tests. Results: Higher baseline T2 was associated with more severe cartilage defects at baseline and subsequent cartilage loss (P < 0.001). However, longitudinal T2 change was inversely associated with both baseline (P = 0.038) and follow-up (P = 0.002) severity of cartilage defects. Knees that developed new cartilage defects had smaller increases in T 2 than subjects without defects (P = 0.045). Individuals with higher baseline T2 showed smaller T2 increases over time (P < 0.001). Conclusion: An inverse correlation of longitudinal T2 changes versus baseline T2 values and morphological cartilage abnormalities suggests that once morphological cartilage defects occur, T2 values may be limited for evaluating further cartilage degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1415-1424
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cartilage
  • longitudinal analysis
  • MRI
  • osteoarthritis
  • T progression
  • WORMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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