Spatial patterns of cartilage loss in the medial femoral condyle in osteoarthritic knees: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

Magn Reson Med. 2010 Mar;63(3):574-81. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22194.


The objective of this study was to develop a technique for analyzing spatial patterns of cartilage loss in the medial femoral condyle (MF), and to study MF cartilage loss in participants of the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Using a 0.7 mm sagittal double echo at steady state (DESS) sequence, 160 osteoarthritic knees from 80 participants with varying degrees of medial joint space narrowing were imaged at baseline and 1-year follow-up. MF cartilage was segmented and cartilage loss determined. Rate of change varied significantly (P = 0.0067) along the anterior-posterior extension of the MF, with the greatest changes (-45 microm, -2.7%) observed 30-60 degrees posterior to the trochlear notch. The rate was greater in the central MF after excluding peripheral aspects of the MF from analysis. Sensitivity to change was greatest at 45-75 degrees (standardized response mean = -0.32) but was minimally affected by medial-lateral trimming. In conclusion, the greatest sensitivity to change was achieved when analyzing the posterior aspect of the central, weight-bearing MF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cartilage Diseases / etiology*
  • Cartilage Diseases / pathology*
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology*
  • Female
  • Femur / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / complications*
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / pathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity