, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 29-32
Date: 27 Jan 2012

MR Imaging Tools to Assess Cartilage and Joint Structures

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Introduction

Standing radiographs provide important information regarding angular deformities and weight-bearing alignment of the joints, but provide only indirect information about joint integrity. Given its superior soft tissue contrast and direct multiplanar acquisition with the ability to accurately assess the complex geometry of various joints, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a highly suitable tool by which to assess osteoarthritis (OA).

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Cartilage

Cartilage is a soft, viscoelastic tissue with strong imaging and anisotropic mechanical properties. The MRI signal properties are dependent on the cellular composition of collagen, proteoglycan, and water, but also the MR pulse sequence utilized. Several standardized pulse sequences are available that have been assessed for accuracy and reproducibility based on a suitable surgical standard [14]. 3D modeling of joint structures is now available with the use of standardized fat-suppressed gradient echo or 3D ...