Background and purpose — Quantitative T2 mapping MRI of cartilage has proven value for the assessment of early osteoarthritis changes in research. We evaluated knee cartilage T2 relaxation times in a clinical population with knee complaints and its association with patients and disease characteristics and clinical symptoms. Patients and methods — In this cross-sectional study, T2 mapping knee scans of 109 patients with knee pain who were referred for an MRI by an orthopedic surgeon were collected. T2 relaxation times were calculated in 6 femoral and tibial regions of interest of full-thickness tibiofemoral cartilage. Its associations with age, sex, BMI, duration of complaints, disease onset (acute/chronic), and clinical symptoms were assessed with multivariate regression analysis. Subgroups were created of patients with abnormalities expected to cause predominantly medial or lateral tibiofemoral cartilage changes. Results — T2 relaxation times increased statistically significantly with higher age and BMI. In patients with expected medial cartilage damage, the medial femoral T2 values were significantly higher than the lateral; in patients with expected lateral cartilage damage the lateral tibial T2 values were significantly higher. A traumatic onset of knee complaints was associated with an acute elevation. No significant association was found with clinical symptoms. Interpretation — Our study demonstrates age, BMI, and type of injury-dependent T2 relaxation times and emphasizes the importance of acknowledging these variations when performing T2 mapping in a clinical population.

dx.doi.org/10.1080/17453674.2021.1882131, hdl.handle.net/1765/134801
Acta Orthopaedica (Print)
Department of Orthopaedics

Verschueren, J. (Joost), Van Langeveld, S.J. (Stephan J), Dragoo, J.L. (Jason L), Bierma-Zeinstra, S.M, Reijman, M, Gold, G.E, & Oei, E.H.G. (2021). T2 relaxation times of knee cartilage in 109 patients with knee pain and its association with disease characteristics. Acta Orthopaedica (Print). doi:10.1080/17453674.2021.1882131