Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the longitudinal reproducibility of cartilage volume and surface area measurements in moderate osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee.
Materials and methods: We analysed 5 MRI (GE 1.5T, sagittal 3D SPGR) data sets of patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee (Kellgren Lawrence grade I-II). Two scans were performed: one baseline scan and one follow-up scan 3 months later (96 +/- 10 days). For segmentation, 3D Slicer 2.5 software was used. Two segmentations were performed by two readers independently who were blinded to the scan dates. Tibial and femoral cartilage volume and surface were determined. Longitudinal and cross-sectional precision errors were calculated using the standard deviation (SD) and coefficient of variation (CV%=100x[SD/mean]) from the repeated measurements in each patient. The in vivo reproducibility was then calculated as the root mean square of these individual reproducibility errors.
Results: The cross-sectional root mean squared coefficient of variation (RMSE-CV) was 1.2, 2.2 and 2.4% for surface area measurements (femur, medial and lateral tibia respectively) and 1.4, 1.8 and 1.3% for the corresponding cartilage volumes. Longitudinal RMSE-CV was 3.3, 3.1 and 3.7% for the surface area measurements (femur, medial and lateral tibia respectively) and 2.3, 3.3 and 2.4% for femur, medial and lateral tibia cartilage volumes.
Conclusion: The longitudinal in vivo reproducibility of cartilage surface and volume measurements in the knee using this segmentation method is excellent. To the best of our knowledge we measured, for the first time, the longitudinal reproducibility of cartilage volume and surface area in participants with mild to moderate OA.