Background Arthroscopic exam evaluation (chondroscopy) of the articular cartilage is considered a relevant instrument of OA outcome for research purposes. Nevertheless availablity of other accurate but non-invasive methods for chondral evaluation in OA, such us MRI, should be desireble.
Objectives To evaluate the capacity of MRI to score chondropathy in knee OA compared with chondroscopy.
Methods 24 consecutive patients diagnosed of knee OA were referred for knee hyaline cartilage MR imaging of medial chondile and tibial plateau with a fat-suppressed spoiled gradient-echo sequences (SPGR) before chondroscopy. MRI and chondroscopic cartilage lesions evaluated by two methods were registered in an scale diagram and total score chondropathy was calculated using a software programme (Autocad). Correlation was determined by Sperman´s test for both evaluation (p < 0,05).
Results High and significant intraobserver correlation was observed for evaluation of medial chondile and tibial plateau by chondroscopy r = 0,806 and r = 0,721 and by MRI r = 0,805 and r = 0,680 respectively. Correlation coefficient between chondroscopic and MRI score for chondile and tibia was r = 0,781 and r = 0,531 respectively.
Conclusion Fat-suppressed SPGR imaging seems to be a relevant tool for evaluation of cartilage lesions in OA of the knee showing a high correlation between both procedures. Both chondroscopy and MRI have a lower correlation for the detection of chondral lesions in tibial plateau than in femoral chondile.
Supp. by a grant of Health Research Funding (98/626).
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