, Volume 41, Issue 11, pp 1435-1443
Date: 25 Feb 2012

Non-traumatic anterior cruciate ligament abnormalities and their relationship to osteoarthritis using morphological grading and cartilage T2 relaxation times: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI)

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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this work was to study anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) degeneration in relation to MRI-based morphological knee abnormalities and cartilage T2 relaxation times in subjects with symptomatic osteoarthritis.

Methods

Two radiologists screened the right knee MRI of 304 randomly selected participants in the Osteoarthritis Initiative cohort with symptomatic OA, for ACL abnormalities. Of the 52 knees with abnormalities, 28 had mucoid degeneration, 12 had partially torn ACLs, and 12 had completely torn ACLs. Fifty-three randomly selected subjects with normal ACLs served as controls. Morphological knee abnormalities were graded using the WORMS score. Cartilage was segmented and compartment-specific T2 values were calculated.

Results

Compared to normal ACL knees, those with ACL abnormalities had a greater prevalence of, and more severe, cartilage, meniscal, bone marrow, subchondral cyst, and medial collateral ligament lesions (all p < 0.05). T2 measurements did not significantly differ by ACL status.

Conclusions

ACL abnormalities were associated with more severe degenerative changes, likely because of greater joint instability. T2 measurements may not be well suited to assess advanced cartilage degeneration.

Keegan K. Hovis and Hamza Alizai contributed equally to this study and should be designated joint first-coauthors.