Morphological MR imaging of the articular cartilage of the knee at 3 Tcomparison of standard and novel 3D sequences
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
University Hospital Antwerp
Insights into imaging / European Society of Radiology. - Berlin, 2010, currens
, p. 1-9
University of Antwerp
Objectives This study sought to compare various 3D cartilage sequences and to evaluate the usefulness of ultrashort TE (UTE) imaging, a new technique to isolate signal from the osteochondral junction. Methods Twenty knees were examined at 3 T with 3D spoiled GRE (FLASH), double-echo steady-state (DESS), balanced SSFP, 3D turbo spin-echo (TSE), and a prototype UTE sequence. Two radiologists independently evaluated all images. Consensus readings of all sequences were the reference standard. Statistical analysis included Friedman and pairwise Wilcoxon tests. Retrospective analysis of UTE morphology of osteochondral tissue in normal and abnormal cartilage seen at conventional MR was also performed. Results Three-dimensional TSE was superior to other sequences for detecting cartilage lesions. FLASH and DESS performed best in the subjective quality analysis. On UTE images, normal cartilage exhibited a high-intensity linear signal near the osteochondral junction. Retrospective analysis revealed abnormal UTE morphology of the osteochondral junction in 50 % of cartilage lesions diagnosed at conventional MR. Conclusions Cartilage imaging of the knee at 3 T can be reliably performed using 3D TSE, showing high accuracy when compared to standard sequences. Although UTE depicts signal from the deep cartilage layer, further studies are needed to establish its role for assessment of cartilage.