University of Oulu

Finnilä, M.A.J., Thevenot, J., Aho, O.-M., Tiitu, V., Rautiainen, J., Kauppinen, S., Nieminen, M.T., Pritzker, K., Valkealahti, M., Lehenkari, P. and Saarakkala, S. (2017), Association between subchondral bone structure and osteoarthritis histopathological grade. J. Orthop. Res., 35: 785-792.

Association between subchondral bone structure and osteoarthritis histopathological grade

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Author: Finnilä, Mikko A. J.1,2,3; Thevenot, Jérôme1,2; Aho, Olli-Matti2,4;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
4Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Institute of Biomedicine, Anatomy, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
6Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
8Department of Surgery, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2016
Publish Date: 2016-12-15


Despite increasing evidence that subchondral bone contributes to osteoarthritis (OA) pathogenesis, little is known about local changes in bone structure compared to cartilage degeneration. This study linked structural adaptation of subchondral bone with histological OA grade. Twenty-five osteochondral samples of macroscopically different degeneration were prepared from tibiae of 14 patients. Samples were scanned with micro-computed tomography (μCT) and both conventional structural parameters and novel 3D parameters based on local patterns were analyzed from the subchondral plate and trabecular bone. Subsequently, samples were processed for histology and evaluated for OARSI grade. Each bone parameter and OARSI grade was compared to assess structural adaptation of bone with OA severity. In addition, thicknesses of cartilage, calcified cartilage, and subchondral plate were analyzed from histological sections and compared with subchondral bone plate thickness from μCT. With increasing OARSI grade, the subchondral plate became thicker along with decreased specific bone surface, while there was no change in tissue mineral density. Histological analysis showed that subchondral plate thickness from μCT also includes calcified cartilage. Entropy of local patterns increased with OA severity, reflecting higher tissue heterogeneity. In the trabecular compartment, bone volume fraction and both trabecular thickness and number increased with OARSI grade while trabecular separation and structure model index decreased. Also, elevation of local patterns became longitudinal in the subchondral plate and axial transverse in trabecular bone with increasing OARSI grade. This study demonstrates the possibility of radiological assessment of OA severity by structural analysis of bone.

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Series: Journal of orthopaedic research
ISSN: 0736-0266
ISSN-E: 1554-527X
ISSN-L: 0736-0266
Volume: 35
Issue: 4
Pages: 785 - 792
DOI: 10.1002/jor.23312
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 217 Medical engineering
Funding: Academy of Finland. Grant Numbers: 260321, 268378, 273571; Sigrid Juselius Foundation; European Research Council (FP/2007-2013)/ERC. Grant Number: 336267; University of Oulu
EU Grant Number: (336267) 3D-OA-HISTO - Development of 3D Histopathological Grading of Osteoarthritis
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 260321
Detailed Information: 260321 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
268378 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
273571 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Orthopaedic Research Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.