Purpose: To determine if T1r mapping can be used as an alternative to delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC) in the quantification of cartilage biochemical composition in vivo in human knees with osteoarthritis. Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the institutional review board. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants. Twelve patients with knee osteoarthritis underwent dGEMRIC and T1r mapping at 3.0 T before undergoing total knee replacement. Outcomes of dGEMRIC and T1r mapping were calculated in six cartilage regions of interest. Femoral and tibial cartilages were harvested during total knee replacement. Cartilage sulphated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) and collagen content were assessed with dimethylmethylene blue and hydroxyproline assays, respectively. A four-dimensional multivariate mixed-effects model was used to simultaneously assess the correlation between outcomes of dGEMRIC and T1r mapping and the sGAG and collagen content of the articular cartilage. Results: T1 relaxation times at dGEMRIC showed strong correlation with cartilage sGAG content (r = 0.73; 95% credibility interval [CI] = 0.60, 0.83) and weak correlation with cartilage collagen content (r = 0.40; 95% CI: 0.18, 0.58). T1r relaxation times did not correlate with cartilage sGAG content (r = 0.04; 95% CI: 20.21, 0.28) or collagen content (r = 20.05; 95% CI = 20.31, 0.20). Conclusion: dGEMRIC can help accurately measure cartilage sGAG content in vivo in patients with knee osteoarthritis, whereas T1r mapping does not appear suitable for this purpose. Although the technique is not completely sGAG specific and requires a contrast agent, dGEMRIC is a validated and robust method for quantifying cartilage sGAG content in human osteoarthritis subjects in clinical research.

doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2015150693, hdl.handle.net/1765/83926
Department of Radiology

van Tiel, J., Kotek, G., Reijman, M., Bos, K., Bron, E., Klein, S., … Oei, E. (2016). Is T1r mapping an alternative to delayed gadolinium-enhanced mr imaging of cartilage in the assessment of sulphated glycosaminoglycan content in human osteoarthritic knees? an in vivo validation study. Radiology, 279(2), 523–531. doi:10.1148/radiol.2015150693