Clinically Relevant Subregions of Articular Cartilage of the Hip for Analysis and Reporting Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Technical Note

Cartilage. 2014 Jan;5(1):11-5. doi: 10.1177/1947603513514082.


Objective: Before quantitative imaging techniques can become clinically valuable, the method, and more specifically, the regions of locating and reporting these values should be standardized toward reproducibility comparisons across centers and longitudinal follow-up of individual patients. The purpose of this technical note is to describe a rigorous and reproducible method of locating, analyzing, and reporting quantitative MRI values in hip articular cartilage with an approach that is consistent with current orthopedic literature.

Design: To demonstrate this localization and documentation, 3 patients (age, 23 ± 5.1 years; 2 males, 1 female) who presented with symptomatic mixed-type femoroacetabular impingement (α angle, 63.3° ± 2.1°; center edge angle, 39° ± 4.2°) were evaluated with T2-mapping at 3 T MRI prior to hip arthroscopy. Manual segmentation was performed and cartilage of the acetabulum and femur was divided into 12 subregions adapted from the geographic zone method. Bone landmarks in the acetabulum and femur, identifiable both in arthroscopy and MR images, were manually selected and the coordinates exported for division of cartilage.

Results: Mean T2 values in each zone are presented.

Conclusions: The current work outlines a standardized system to locate and describe quantitative mapping values that could aid in surgical decision making, planning, and the noninvasive longitudinal follow-up of implemented cartilage preservation and restoration techniques.

Keywords: MRI; articular cartilage; hip; quantitative imaging.