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01.06.2014 | Experimental Study | Ausgabe 6/2014

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 6/2014

Quantitative MRI in the evaluation of articular cartilage health: reproducibility and variability with a focus on T2 mapping

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 6/2014
Rachel K. Surowiec, Erin P. Lucas, Charles P. Ho



Early diagnosis of cartilage degeneration and longitudinal tracking of cartilage health including repair following surgical intervention would benefit from the ability to detect and monitor changes of the articular cartilage non-invasively and before gross morphological alterations appear.


Quantitative MR imaging has shown promising results with various imaging biomarkers such as T2 mapping, T1 rho and dGEMRIC demonstrating sensitivity in the detection of biochemical alterations within tissues of interest. However, acquiring accurate and clinically valuable quantitative data has proven challenging, and the reproducibility of the quantitative mapping technique and its values are essential. Although T2 mapping has been the focus in this discussion, all quantitative mapping techniques are subject to the same issues including variability in the imaging protocol, unloading and exercise, analysis, scanner and coil, calculation methods, and segmentation and registration concerns.


The causes for variability between time points longitudinally in a patient, among patients, and among centres need to be understood further and the issues addressed.


The potential clinical applications of quantitative mapping are vast, but, before the clinical community can take full advantage of this tool, it must be automated, standardized, validated, and have proven reproducibility prior to its implementation into the standard clinical care routine.

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