Objective: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of articular cartilage has evolved to be an important tool in research on cartilage (patho)physiology and osteoarthritis (OA). MRI provides a wealth of novel and quantitative information, but there exists no commonly accepted terminology for reporting these metrics. The objective of this initiative was to propose a nomenclature for definitions and names to be used in scientific communications and to give recommendations as to which minimal methodological information should be provided when reporting MRI-based measures of articular cartilage in OA.
Methods: An international group of experts with direct experience in MRI measurement of cartilage morphology or composition reviewed the existing literature. Through an iterative process that included a meeting with a larger group of scientists and clinicians (December 2nd, 2004, Chicago, IL, USA), they discussed, refined, and proposed a nomenclature for MRI-based measures of articular cartilage in OA.
Results: The group proposes a nomenclature that describes: (1) the anatomical location and (2) the structural feature being measured, each name consisting of a metric variable combined with a tissue label. In addition, the group recommends minimal methodological information that should be described.
Conclusions: Utilization of this nomenclature should facilitate communication within the scientific community. Further, the uniform adoption of comprehensive nomenclature to describe quantitative MRI- features of articular cartilage should strengthen epidemiological, clinical, and pharmacological studies in OA.