Clinical Rheumatology

, 27:1507 | Cite as

Validity of the sonographic longitudinal sagittal image for assessment of the cartilage thickness in the knee osteoarthritis

  • Chong-Hyeon Yoon
  • Hyun-Sook Kim
  • Ji Hyeon Ju
  • Won-Hee Jee
  • Sung-Hwan Park
  • Ho-Youn KimEmail author
Original Article


We compared the validity of the sonographic longitudinal sagittal image with the suprapatellar transverse axial image for assessment of thickness of femoral cartilage in osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Fifty-one patients with knee OA were enrolled in this study. Cartilage thicknesses of medial and lateral femoral condyles were measured with longitudinal sagittal and suprapatellar transverse axial image using sonography. Fat-suppressed 3D spoiled gradient-echo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was also used to get the reference value. The joint space width (JSW) and Kellgren and Lawrence (K–L) grade were measured in weight-bearing anteroposterior knee radiograph. The kappa and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were used to determine inter- and intra-observer agreement of the ultrasound sonography (US) measurements. In medial femoral condyle, the opportunity to obtain cartilage thickness was increased significantly using the longitudinal US scan as compared with tansverse scan (48 cases vs. 36 cases, p < 0.05). There was a good correlation between longitudinal US scan and MRI in the maximum and minimum cartilage thicknesses of medial condyle (r = 0.568; r = 0.844, respectively, p < 0.01). However, there was no correlation between suprapatellar transverse US scan and MRI in medial condyle. In lateral condyle, both US scans showed good correlations with MRI. In Bland–Altman analysis, longitudinal US scan showed good agreement with MRI except in the minimal cartilage thickness of lateral condyle. There was high overall intra- and inter-observer agreement in US scan. US scan in the longitudinal plane is a more feasible method than suprapatellar transverse scan for measuring cartilage thickness of medial femoral condyle in knee OA patient.


Cartilage Knee osteoarthritis MRI Ultrasonography 



This study was supported by SRC grant R11-2002-098-04002-0 from the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) to the Rheumatism Research Center at the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chong-Hyeon Yoon
    • 1
  • Hyun-Sook Kim
    • 2
  • Ji Hyeon Ju
    • 1
  • Won-Hee Jee
    • 3
  • Sung-Hwan Park
    • 1
  • Ho-Youn Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Kangnam St. Mary’s HospitalThe Catholic University of KoreaSeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, College of MedicineThe Chosun University of KoreaGwangjuSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Radiology, College of Medicine, Kangnam St. Mary’s HospitalThe Catholic University of KoreaSeoulSouth Korea

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