Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study. The purpose was to prospectively compare multiecho iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) gradient-echo (GRE) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with three-dimensional fat-suppressed (FS) spoiled GRE (SPGR) MR imaging to evaluate the articular cartilage of the knee. Six healthy volunteer and 10 cadaver knees were imaged at 1.5 T. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), SNR efficiency, and cartilage volume were measured. SNR and SNR efficiency were significantly higher with multiecho IDEAL GRE than with FS SPGR imaging (P < .031). Both methods produced equivalent cartilage volumes (overall concordance correlation coefficient, 0.998) with high precision and accuracy. The use of a cartilage phantom confirmed high accuracy in volume measurements and high reproducibility for both methods. Multiecho IDEAL GRE provides high signal intensity in cartilage and synovial fluid and is a promising technique for imaging articular cartilage of the knee.
View details for DOI 10.1148/radiol.2522081424
View details for PubMedID 19528355