The subchondral bone in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis of the knee. A histological and microradiographical study

Acta Orthop Scand. 1976 Jun;47(3):345-50. doi: 10.3109/17453677608992003.


Specimens of the joint surfaces of the tibia from patients with OA and RA were exposed were examined for bone mineralization, bone formation, osteoid tissue and bone resorption. Judging from the appearance of the osteoblasts in OA the sclerotic changes are mainly focal with relatively little osteogenesis. No osteoclasia was seen in the sclerotic areas. Breakdown of the mineralized cartilage is followed by the development of cysts with highly cellular connective tissue with high osteoblastic activity and osteoclasia. Osteoid tissue is relatively sparse. The changes in RA are more diffuse with a more active osteoblastic activity and widespread zones of osteoid tissue as well as resorption by osteoclasts. It appears as if the increased uptake of 85Sr in OA is more dependent on the occurrence of relatively inert osteosclerosis than on a rapid turnover of the bone tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology*
  • Bone Resorption
  • Cartilage, Articular / pathology
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / pathology*
  • Microradiography
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology*
  • Osteoblasts / pathology
  • Osteoclasts / pathology
  • Tibia / pathology*