Type 2 diabetes patients have accelerated cartilage matrix degeneration compared to diabetes free controls: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

J. Neumann, F. C. Hofmann, U. Heilmeier, W. Ashmeik, K. Tang, A. S. Gersing, B. J. Schwaiger, M. C. Nevitt, G. B. Joseph, N. E. Lane, C. E. McCulloch, T. M. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: Osteoarthritis (OA) and diabetes mellitus (DM) share common risk factors with a potential underlying relationship between both diseases. The purpose of this study was to investigate the longitudinal effects of DM on cartilage deterioration over 24-months with MR-based T2 relaxation time measurements. Methods: From the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) cohort 196 diabetics were matched in small sets for age, sex, BMI and Kellgren–Lawrence score with 196 non-diabetic controls. Knee cartilage semi-automatic segmentation was performed on 2D multi-slice multi-echo spin-echo sequences. Texture of cartilage T2 maps was obtained via grey level co-occurrence matrix analysis. Linear regression analysis was used to compare cross-sectional and changes in T2 and texture parameters between the groups. Results: Both study groups were similar in age (63.3 vs 63.0 years, P = 0.70), BMI (30.9 vs 31.2 kg/m2, P = 0.52), sex (female 53.6% vs 54.1%, P = 0.92) and KL score distribution (P = 0.97). In diabetics, except for the patella, all compartments showed a significantly higher increase in mean T2 values when compared to non-diabetic controls. Global T2 values increased almost twice as much; 1.77ms vs 0.98ms (0.79ms [CI: 0.39,1.19]) (P < 0.001). Additionally, global T2 values showed a significantly higher increase in the bone layer (P = 0.006), and in a separate analysis of the texture parameters, diabetics also showed consistently higher texture values (P < 0.05), indicating a more disordered cartilage composition. Conclusion: Cartilage T2 values in diabetics show a faster increase with a consistently more heterogeneous cartilage texture composition. DM seems to be a risk factor for developing early OA with an accelerated degeneration of the articular cartilage in the knee.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-761
Number of pages11
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Biomarkers
  • Cartilage imaging
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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