European Radiology

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 119–124 | Cite as

Quantifying peri-meniscal synovitis and its relationship to meniscal pathology in osteoarthritis of the knee

  • Andrew J. GraingerEmail author
  • Laura A. Rhodes
  • Anne-Maree Keenan
  • Paul Emery
  • Philip G. Conaghan


The objectives of this study were to validate a semiquantitative scoring system for estimating perimeniscal synovitis in osteoarthritic (OA) knees and to examine the relationship between the extent of synovitis and the degree of meniscal pathology using gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Forty-three subjects with clinically diagnosed OA knee were assessed for peri-meniscal synovitis using gadolinium-enhanced MRI. Quantitative measurements of synovitis were made by summing areas in consecutive slices within generated regions of interest, and the synovitis was also scored semi-quantitatively using a 0–3 scale. Meniscal pathology (extrusion, degeneration and tearing) was also scored semiquantitatively. Establishment of a correlative relationship was undertaken using Spearman’s rho (ρ). A total of 86 sites were assessed. The semi-quantitative synovitis score correlated well with the quantitative synovitis score (ρ>0.9). A moderate association between medial meniscal extrusion and synovitis was demonstrated (ρ=0.762, P<0.000), although this association was not as strong in the lateral compartment (ρ=0.524, P<0..000). The results suggest the semiquantitative scoring system is valid for assessing perimeniscal synovitis. The relationship between meniscal pathology and adjacent synovitis requires further study.


MRI Semiquantitative Menisci Extrusion Tearing 



We are grateful to MSD UK for partial sponsorship of this study through an unrestricted educational grant. P.G. Conaghan is partially funded through a grant from the Arthritis Research Campaign


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew J. Grainger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura A. Rhodes
    • 2
  • Anne-Maree Keenan
    • 3
  • Paul Emery
    • 4
  • Philip G. Conaghan
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyLeeds General InfirmaryLeedsUK
  2. 2.Academic Unit of Medical Physics, The University of LeedsWellcome Wing, Leeds General InfirmaryLeedsUK
  3. 3.Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal DiseaseLeeds General InfirmaryLeedsUK
  4. 4.Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal DiseaseLeeds General InfirmaryLeedsUK
  5. 5.Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal DiseaseLeeds General InfirmaryLeedsUK

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