Advanced morphological and biochemical magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage repair procedures in the knee joint at 3 Tesla

MR Center, Department of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Seminars in musculoskeletal radiology (Impact Factor: 0.95). 10/2008; 12(3):196-211. DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1083104
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Morphological and biochemical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is due to high field MR systems, advanced coil technology, and sophisticated sequence protocols capable of visualizing articular cartilage in vivo with high resolution in clinical applicable scan time. Several conventional two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) approaches show changes in cartilage structure. Furthermore newer isotropic 3D sequences show great promise in improving cartilage imaging and additionally in diagnosing surrounding pathologies within the knee joint. Functional MR approaches are additionally able to provide a specific measure of the composition of cartilage. Cartilage physiology and ultra-structure can be determined, changes in cartilage macromolecules can be detected, and cartilage repair tissue can thus be assessed and potentially differentiated. In cartilage defects and following nonsurgical and surgical cartilage repair, morphological MRI provides the basis for diagnosis and follow-up evaluation, whereas biochemical MRI provides a deeper insight into the composition of cartilage and cartilage repair tissue. A combination of both, together with clinical evaluation, may represent a desirable multimodal approach in the future, also available in routine clinical use.

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