The relationship between prevalent medial meniscal intrasubstance signal changes and incident medial meniscal tears in women over a 1-year period assessed with 3.0 T MRI
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Intrasubstance meniscal signal changes not reaching the articular surface on fast spin echo (FSE) sequences are considered to represent mucoid degeneration on MRI. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of prevalent intrasubstance signal changes with incident tears of the medial meniscus detected on 3.0 T MRI over a 1-year period.
Materials and methods
A total of 161 women aged ≥40 years participated in a longitudinal 1-year observational study of knee osteoarthritis. MRI (3.0 T) was performed at baseline and 12-month follow-up. The anterior horn, body, and posterior horn of the medial meniscus were scored by two experienced musculoskeletal radiologists using the Boston-Leeds Osteoarthritis Knee Score (BLOKS) system. Four grades were used to describe the meniscal morphology: grade 0 (normal), grade 1 (intrasubstance signal changes not reaching the articular surface), grade 2 (single tears), and grade 3 (complex tears and maceration). Fisher’s exact test and the Cochran-Armitage trend test were performed to evaluate whether baseline intrasubstance signal changes (grade 1) predict incident meniscal tears/maceration (grades 2 and/or 3) in the same subregion of the medial meniscus, when compared to subregions without pathology as the reference group (grade 0).
Medial meniscal intrasubstance signal changes at baseline did not predict tears at follow-up when evaluating the anterior and posterior horns (left-sided p-values 0.06 and 0.59, respectively). No incident tears were detected in the body.
We could not demonstrate an association between prevalent medial meniscal intrasubstance signal changes with incident tears over a 1-year period.