European Radiology

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 2581–2588 | Cite as

Differences of radiocarpal cartilage alterations in arthritis and osteoarthritis using morphological and biochemical magnetic resonance imaging without gadolinium-based contrast agent administration

  • Valentina Mori
  • Lino M. SawickiEmail author
  • Philipp Sewerin
  • Markus Eichner
  • Benedikt M. Schaarschmidt
  • Lisa Oezel
  • Sebastian Gehrmann
  • Bernd Bittersohl
  • Gerald Antoch
  • Christoph Schleich



To identify differences of radiocarpal cartilage alterations in osteoarthritis and arthritis using multiparametrical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) comprising morphological and biochemical sequences without gadolinium-based contrast agent administration.


In this prospective study, multiparametrical MRI of the radiocarpal cartilage was performed in 47 participants (mean age, 46.6 ± 17.6 years; min., 20 years; max., 79 years) on a 3 Tesla MRI. The cohort consisted of 11 patients suffering from arthritis, 10 patients with osteoarthritis, 14 patients after distal radius fracture, and 12 healthy volunteers. The radiocarpal cartilage was assessed using morphological (DESS, TrueFISP) and biochemical (T2*) MRI sequences without the application of intravenous contrast agent. The modified Outerbridge classification system for morphological and region-of-interest analyses for biochemical analysis was applied to assess the degree of cartilage damage in each patient before data were statistically tested for significant difference between the groups using a post hoc Tukey test.


In morphological imaging, cartilage damage was significantly more frequent in arthritis and osteoarthritis than in healthy volunteers (DESS: p = 0.01, p = 0.0004; TrueFISP: p = 0.02, p = 0.0001). In T2* imaging, patients with osteoarthritis showed higher cartilage damage compared to patients with arthritis (p = 0.01).


With multiparametrical MRI, it is possible to identify differences of radiocarpal cartilage alterations of patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis using the combination of morphological and biochemical MR imaging of the radiocarpal cartilage without the application of contrast agent. Multiparametrical MRI without the usage of contrast agent may be a potential tool helping to distinguish both entities.

Key Points

• Multiparametrical MRI with morphological and biochemical sequences allows the differentiation of patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis.

• High-resolution MRI of radiocarpal cartilage is possible without administration of contrast agent.


Morphological and cartilage MR imaging Without gadolinium-based contrast agent Arthritis Osteoarthritis Radiocarpal cartilage 



Analysis of variance


Confidence interval


Double echo steady state


Delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage


Distal radius fracture


Diffusion-weighted imaging


European Medicines Agency


Glycosaminoglycan chemical exchange saturation transfer


Intraclass correlation coefficient


Central lunate


Peripheral lunate


Magnetic resonance imaging




Proton density


Rheumatoid arthritis




Central scaphoid


Peripheral scaphoid


Standards for reporting of diagnostic accuracy studies


Tumor necrosis factor α


True fast imaging with steady state precession



We would like to thank Erika Rädisch for the assistance in receiving the MRI scans.


The authors state that this work has not received any funding.

Compliance with ethical standards


The scientific guarantor of this publication is PD Dr. med. Christoph Schleich.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all patients in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• prospective

• diagnostic study

• performed at one institution


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valentina Mori
    • 1
  • Lino M. Sawicki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Philipp Sewerin
    • 2
  • Markus Eichner
    • 1
  • Benedikt M. Schaarschmidt
    • 1
  • Lisa Oezel
    • 3
  • Sebastian Gehrmann
    • 3
  • Bernd Bittersohl
    • 4
  • Gerald Antoch
    • 1
  • Christoph Schleich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Medical FacultyUniversity of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Department and Hiller-Research-Unit for Rheumatology, UKDHeinrich Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Department of Trauma and Hand SurgeryUniversity HospitalDüsseldorfGermany
  4. 4.Department of Orthopedics, Medical FacultyUniversity of DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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