Author(s): Binks DA, Hodgson RJ, Ries ME, Foster RJ, Smye SW,
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Abstract With increasing life expectancies and the desire to maintain active lifestyles well into old age, the impact of the debilitating disease osteoarthritis (OA) and its burden on healthcare services is mounting. Emerging regenerative therapies could deliver significant advances in the effective treatment of OA but rely upon the ability to identify the initial signs of tissue damage and will also benefit from quantitative assessment of tissue repair in vivo. Continued development in the field of quantitative MRI in recent years has seen the emergence of techniques able to probe the earliest biochemical changes linked with the onset of OA. Quantitative MRI measurements including T(1), T(2) and T(1ρ) relaxometry, diffusion weighted imaging and magnetisation transfer have been studied and linked to the macromolecular structure of cartilage. Delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage, sodium MRI and glycosaminoglycan chemical exchange saturation transfer techniques are sensitive to depletion of cartilage glycosaminoglycans and may allow detection of the earliest stages of OA. We review these current and emerging techniques for the diagnosis of early OA, evaluate the progress that has been made towards their implementation in the clinic and identify future challenges in the field.
This article was published in Br J Radiol
and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy