High-resolution morphological and biochemical imaging of articular cartilage of the ankle joint at 3.0 T using a new dedicated phased array coil: in vivo reproducibility study
The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and reproducibility of high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and quantitative T2 mapping of the talocrural cartilage within a clinically applicable scan time using a new dedicated ankle coil and high-field MRI.
Materials and methods
Ten healthy volunteers (mean age 32.4 years) underwent MRI of the ankle. As morphological sequences, proton density fat-suppressed turbo spin echo (PD-FS-TSE), as a reference, was compared with 3D true fast imaging with steady-state precession (TrueFISP). Furthermore, biochemical quantitative T2 imaging was prepared using a multi-echo spin-echo T2 approach. Data analysis was performed three times each by three different observers on sagittal slices, planned on the isotropic 3D-TrueFISP; as a morphological parameter, cartilage thickness was assessed and for T2 relaxation times, region-of-interest (ROI) evaluation was done. Reproducibility was determined as a coefficient of variation (CV) for each volunteer; averaged as root mean square (RMSA) given as a percentage; statistical evaluation was done using analysis of variance.
Cartilage thickness of the talocrural joint showed significantly higher values for the 3D-TrueFISP (ranging from 1.07 to 1.14 mm) compared with the PD-FS-TSE (ranging from 0.74 to 0.99 mm); however, both morphological sequences showed comparable good results with RMSA of 7.1 to 8.5%. Regarding quantitative T2 mapping, measurements showed T2 relaxation times of about 54 ms with an excellent reproducibility (RMSA) ranging from 3.2 to 4.7%.
In our study the assessment of cartilage thickness and T2 relaxation times could be performed with high reproducibility in a clinically realizable scan time, demonstrating new possibilities for further investigations into patient groups.
KeywordsMRI Cartilage Ankle 3 T TrueFISP T2 mapping
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