OBJECTIVES: To assess the discriminative power of a 5-min quantitative double-echo steady-state (qDESS) sequence for simultaneous T2 measurements of cartilage and meniscus, and structural knee osteoarthritis (OA) assessment, in a clinical OA population, using radiographic knee OA as reference standard.METHODS: Fifty-three subjects were included and divided over three groups based on radiographic and clinical knee OA: 20 subjects with no OA (Kellgren-Lawrence grade (KLG) 0), 18 with mild OA (KLG2), and 15 with moderate OA (KLG3). All patients underwent a 5-min qDESS scan. We measured T2 relaxation times in four cartilage and four meniscus regions of interest (ROIs) and performed structural OA evaluation with the MRI Osteoarthritis Knee Score (MOAKS) using qDESS with multiplanar reformatting. Between-group differences in T2 values and MOAKS were calculated using ANOVA. Correlations of the reference standard (i.e., radiographic knee OA) with T2 and MOAKS were assessed with correlation analyses for ordinal variables.RESULTS: In cartilage, mean T2 values were 36.1±SD 4.3, 40.6±5.9, and 47.1±4.3ms for no, mild, and moderate OA, respectively (p<0.001). In menisci, mean T2 values were 15±3.6, 17.5±3.8, and 20.6±4.7ms for no, mild, and moderate OA, respectively (p<0.001). Statistically significant correlations were found between radiographic OA and T2 and between radiographic OA and MOAKS in all ROIs (p<0.05).CONCLUSION: Quantitative T2 and structural assessment of cartilage and meniscus, using a single 5-min qDESS scan, can distinguish between different grades of radiographic OA, demonstrating the potential of qDESS as an efficient tool for OA imaging.KEY POINTS: Quantitative T 2values of cartilage and meniscus as well as structural assessment of the knee with a single 5-min quantitative double-echo steady-state (qDESS) scan can distinguish between different grades of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Quantitative and structural qDESS-based measurements correlate significantly with the reference standard, radiographic degree of OA, for all cartilage and meniscus regions. By providing quantitative measurements and diagnostic image quality in one rapid MRI scan, qDESS has great potential for application in large-scale clinical trials in knee OA.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s00330-019-06542-9
View details for PubMedID 31844957