A method is proposed to determine accurately the signal intensity changes of the articular cartilage from sectional MR images and its related cartilage deformation under compression in an intact joint. Image processing methods are developed to delineate and register the cartilage boundaries in consecutive MR images in order to track corresponding tissue sectors during the loading experiment. Regions of interest can then be defined and traced during the compression, making a spatial and temporal analysis of signal intensity changes possible. In addition, the cartilage deformation is calculated in the respective tissue sectors and is related to the MR signal changes. Using a fat-suppressed FLASH 3D sequence, the preliminary results showed location-dependent slight changes of the signal intensity varying from individual to individual. The quantitative analysis of the signal intensity changes as a function of cartilage deformation with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) aims to characterize microstructural properties of the articular cartilage that may lead to a better understanding of degenerative joint disease.