Author(s): Welsch GH, Trattnig S, Domayer S, Marlovits S, White LM,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present pilot study is to show initial results of a multimodal approach using clinical scoring, morphological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and biochemical T2-relaxation and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in their ability to assess differences between cartilage repair tissue after microfracture therapy (MFX) and matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT). METHOD: Twenty patients were cross-sectionally evaluated at different post-operative intervals from 12 to 63 months after MFX and 12-59 months after MACT. The two groups were matched by age (MFX: 36.0+/-10.4 years; MACT: 35.1+/-7.7 years) and post-operative interval (MFX: 32.6+/-16.7 months; MACT: 31.7+/-18.3 months). After clinical evaluation using the Lysholm score, 3T-MRI was performed obtaining the MR observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) score as well as T2-mapping and DWI for multi-parametric MRI. Quantitative T2-relaxation was achieved using a multi-echo spin-echo sequence; semi-quantitative diffusion-quotient (signal intensity without diffusion-weighting divided by signal intensity with diffusion weighting) was prepared by a partially balanced, steady-state gradient-echo pulse sequence. RESULTS: No differences in Lysholm (P=0.420) or MOCART (P=0.209) score were observed between MFX and MACT. T2-mapping showed lower T2 values after MFX compared to MACT (P=0.039). DWI distinguished between healthy cartilage and cartilage repair tissue in both procedures (MFX: P=0.001; MACT: P=0.007). Correlations were found between the Lysholm and the MOCART score (Pearson: 0.484; P=0.031), between the Lysholm score and DWI (Pearson:-0.557; P=0.011) and a trend between the Lysholm score and T2 (Person: 0.304; P=0.193). CONCLUSION: Using T2-mapping and DWI, additional information could be gained compared to clinical scoring or morphological MRI. In combination clinical, MR-morphological and MR-biochemical parameters can be seen as a promising multimodal tool in the follow-up of cartilage repair.
This article was published in Osteoarthritis Cartilage
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy