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

Eur Radiol. 2007 Jan;17(1):119-24. doi: 10.1007/s00330-006-0282-6. Epub 2006 May 10.


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 (rho). A total of 86 sites were assessed. The semi-quantitative synovitis score correlated well with the quantitative synovitis score (rho>0.9). A moderate association between medial meniscal extrusion and synovitis was demonstrated (rho=0.762, P<0.000), although this association was not as strong in the lateral compartment (rho=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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cartilage Diseases / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Menisci, Tibial / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / complications*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / pathology*
  • Synovitis / complications*
  • Synovitis / pathology*