Cartilage damage in femoroacetabular impingement (FAI): preliminary results on comparison of standard diagnostic vs delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC)

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2009 Oct;17(10):1297-306. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2009.04.016. Epub 2009 May 3.


Objectives: To study the three-dimensional (3D) T1 patterns in different types of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) by utilizing delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of cartilage (dGEMRIC) and subsequent 3D T1 mapping. We used standard grading of OA by Tonnis grade on standard radiographs and morphological grading of cartilage in MRI for comparative analysis.

Methods: dGEMRIC was obtained from ten asymptomatic young-adult volunteers and 26 symptomatic FAI patients. MRI included the routine hip protocol and a dual-flip angle (FA) 3D gradient echo (GRE) sequence utilizing inline T1 measurement. Cartilage was morphologically classified from the radial images based on the extent of degeneration as: no degeneration, degeneration zone measuring <0.75 cm from the rim, >0.75 cm, or total loss. T1 findings were evaluated and correlated.

Results: All FAI types revealed remarkably lower T1 mean values in comparison to asymptomatic volunteers in all regions of interest. Distribution of the T1 dGEMRIC values was in accordance with the specific FAI damage pattern. In cam-types (n=6) there was a significant drop (P<0.05) of T1 in the anterior to superior location. In pincer-types (n=7), there was a generalized circumferential decrease noted. High inter-observer (intra-observer) reliability was noted for T1 assessment using intra-class correlation (ICC):intra-class coefficient=0.89 (0.95).

Conclusions: We conclude that a pattern of zonal T1 variation does seem to exist that is unique for different sub-groups of FAI. The FA GRE approach to perform 3D T1 mapping has a promising role for further studies of standard MRI and dGEMRIC in the hip joint.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum / diagnostic imaging
  • Acetabulum / pathology*
  • Adult
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology*
  • Contrast Media*
  • Female
  • Gadolinium*
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Hip Joint / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Joint Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Diseases / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Radiography
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium