Author(s): Wluka AE, Ding C, Jones G, Cicuttini FM
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To determine whether articular cartilage defects are associated with cartilage loss and joint replacement in subjects with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: One hundred and seventeen subjects with symptomatic knee OA underwent magnetic resonance imaging of their dominant knee at baseline and 2 yr later. Cartilage defects were identified as prevalent (defect score > or =2) in each knee compartment. Occurrence of joint replacement by 4 yr was documented. RESULTS: Cartilage defects were present in 81\% of medial, 64\% of lateral tibiofemoral compartments and 55\% of patellar cartilages. Annual patellar cartilage loss was highest in those with defects compared with no defects (5.5\% vs 3.2\%, P = 0.01). Tibial cartilage loss was not associated with defects in the medial (4.6\% vs 5.8\%, P = 0.42) or lateral (4.7\% vs 6.5\%, P = 0.21) tibial cartilages. Higher total cartilage defect scores (8-15) were associated with a 6.0-fold increased risk of joint replacement over 4 yr compared with those with lower scores (2-7) (95\% confidence interval 1.6, 22.3), independently of potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Articular cartilage defects are associated with disease severity in knee OA and predict patellar cartilage loss and knee replacement.
This article was published in Rheumatology (Oxford)
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research