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01.06.2014 | Knee | Ausgabe 6/2014

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 6/2014

In vivo evaluation of biomechanical properties in the patellofemoral joint after matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation by means of quantitative T2 MRI

Zeitschrift:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 6/2014
Autoren:
M. L. Pachowsky, S. Trattnig, B. Wondrasch, S. Apprich, S. Marlovits, A. Mauerer, Goetz H. Welsch, M. Blanke

Abstract

Purpose

To determine in vivo biomechanical properties of articular cartilage and cartilage repair tissue of the patella, using biochemical MRI by means of quantitative T2 mapping.

Methods

Twenty MR scans were achieved at 3T MRI, using a new 8-channel multi-function coil allowing controlled bending of the knee. Multi-echo spin-echo T2 mapping was prepared in healthy volunteers and in age- and sex-matched patients after matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) of the patella. MRI was performed at 0° and 45° of flexion of the knee after 0 min and after 1 h. A semi-automatic region-of-interest analysis was performed for the whole patella cartilage. To allow stratification with regard to the anatomical (collagen) structure, further subregional analysis was carried out (deep–middle–superficial cartilage layer). Statistical analysis of variance was performed.

Results

During 0° flexion (decompression), full-thickness T2 values showed no significant difference between volunteers (43 ms) and patients (41 ms). Stratification was more pronounced for healthy cartilage compared to cartilage repair tissue. During 45° flexion (compression), full-thickness T2 values within volunteers were significantly increased (54 ms) compared to patients (44 ms) (p < 0.001). Again, stratification was more pronounced in volunteers compared to patients. The volunteer group showed no significant increase in T2 values measured in straight position and in bended position. There was no significant difference between the 0- and the 60-min MRI examination. T2 values in the patient group increased between the 0- and the 60-min examination. However, the increase was only significant in the superior cartilage layer of the straight position (p = 0.021).

Conclusion

During compression (at 45° flexion), healthy patellar cartilage showed a significant increase in T2-values, indicating adaptations of water content and collagen fibril orientation to mechanical load. This could not be observed within the patella cartilage after cartilage repair (MACT) of the patella, most obvious due to a lack of biomechanical adjustment.

Level of evidence

III.

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