University of Oulu

Casula, V., Hirvasniemi, J., Lehenkari, P. et al. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2016) 24: 2046.

Association between quantitative MRI and ICRS arthroscopic grading of articular cartilage

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Author: Casula, Victor1,2; Hirvasniemi, Jukka2,3; Lehenkari, Petri2,4,5;
Organizations: 1Department of Radiology, University of Oulu, POB 50, 90029 Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Medical Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Department of Anatomy, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Surgery, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2016
Publish Date: 2015-09-11


Purpose: To investigate the association of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) parameters with arthroscopic grading of cartilage degeneration. Arthroscopy of the knee is considered to be the gold standard of osteoarthritis diagnostics; however, it is operator-dependent and limited to the evaluation of the articular surface. qMRI provides information on the quality of articular cartilage and its changes even at early stages of a disease.

Methods: qMRI techniques included T₁ relaxation time, T₂ relaxation time, and delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage mapping at 3 T in ten patients. Due to a lack of generally accepted semiquantitative scoring systems for evaluating severity of cartilage degeneration during arthroscopy, the International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS) classification system was used to grade the severity of cartilage lesions. qMRI parameters were statistically compared to arthroscopic grading conducted with the ICRS classification system.

Results: qMRI parameters were not linearly related to arthroscopic grading. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between qMRI and arthroscopic grading were not significant. The relative differences in qMRI parameters of superficial and deep cartilage varied with degeneration, suggesting different macromolecular alterations in different cartilage zones.

Conclusions: Results suggest that loss of cartilage and the quality of remaining tissue in the lesion site may not be directly associated with each other. The severity of cartilage degeneration may not be revealed solely by diagnostic arthroscopy, and thus, qMRI can have a role in the investigation of cartilage degeneration.

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Series: Knee surgery, sports traumatology, arthroscopy
ISSN: 0942-2056
ISSN-E: 1433-7347
ISSN-L: 0942-2056
Volume: 24
Issue: 6
Pages: 2046 - 2054
DOI: 10.1007/s00167-014-3286-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
3126 Surgery, anesthesiology, intensive care, radiology
Funding: This study was supported by the grant from the Academy of Finland (Grant 260321) and the strategic funding from the University of Oulu.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 260321
Detailed Information: 260321 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2014. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. The final authenticated version is available online at: