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Association of changes in delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) with changes in cartilage thickness in the medial tibiofemoral compartment of the knee: a 2 year follow-up study using 3.0 T MRI
  1. Michel D Crema1,2,3,
  2. David J Hunter4,
  3. Deborah Burstein5,
  4. Frank W Roemer1,6,
  5. Ling Li7,
  6. Felix Eckstein8,9,
  7. Nitya Krishnan5,
  8. Marie-Pierre Hellio Le-Graverand10,
  9. Ali Guermazi1,2
  1. 1Department of Radiology, Quantitative Imaging Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Boston Imaging Core Lab, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Radiology, Hospital do Coração (HCor) and Teleimagem, São Paulo, Brazil
  4. 4Department of Rheumatology, Northern Clinical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  5. 5Clinical Department of Radiology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  6. 6Department of Radiology, University of Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany
  7. 7Division of Research, New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  8. 8Institute of Anatomy and Musculoskeletal Research, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria
  9. 9Chondrometrics GmbH, Ainring, Germany
  10. 10Pfizer Global Research and Development, New London, Connecticut, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michel D Crema, Department of Radiology, Quantitative Imaging Center, Boston University School of Medicine, 820 Harrison Avenue, FGH Building, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02118, USA; michelcrema{at}gmail.com

Abstract

Objective To determine the association between changes in the delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) index over 2 years as a measure of cartilage proteoglycan concentration, with changes in cartilage thickness in the medial tibiofemoral compartment of knees in middle-aged women.

Methods One hundred and forty-eight women (one knee for each subject) aged ≥40 years were included. 3.0 T MR images of the knee were acquired at baseline, 1 year and 2 years. Three-dimensional (3D) spoiled gradient recalled echo (SPGR) sequences (for cartilage thickness) and 3D inversion recovery-prepared SPGR sequences after dGEMRIC were acquired. Segmentation was performed in the medial central (weight-bearing) femur and tibia to determine cartilage proteoglycan concentration and thickness. The association of change in the dGEMRIC indices between baseline and 1-year follow-up with (a) concomitant changes in cartilage thickness and (b) change in cartilage thickness between 1 and 2 years was assessed using linear regression.

Results In the whole-sample model, a decrease in dGEMRIC indices over time at the central medial femur significantly predicted an increase in cartilage thickness at both the central medial femur (p=0.008) and the medial tibia (p=0.04).

Conclusions A decrease in dGEMRIC indices was associated with an increase in cartilage thickness in the medial compartment. Our results suggest that an increase in cartilage thickness may also be related to a decrease in proteoglycan concentration, which may represent swelling of cartilage in early stages of degeneration.

  • Knee Osteoarthritis
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Osteoarthritis

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