Article Title

Ability of dGEMRIC and T2 mapping to evaluate cartilage repair after microfracture: A goat study


Objective: To investigate the ability of delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC) and T2 mapping to evaluate the quality of repair tissue after microfracture.

Design: Twelve knees from 12 goats were studied. An osteochondral defect (diameter, 6 mm; depth, 3 mm) with microfracture was created in the weight-bearing aspect of both the medial and lateral femoral condyles. Goats were euthanized at 24 weeks (n = 6) and 48 weeks (n = 6) postsurgery. Pre-contrast R1 (R1pre) and post-contrast R1 (R1post) measurements for dGEMRIC and a pre-contrast T2 measurement for T2 mapping were performed with a 3 T MR imaging system. MR imaging findings were compared with histological and biochemical assessments.

Results: In native cartilage, significant correlations were observed between the R1post and the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) concentration, as well as ΔR1 (difference between the R1pre and R1post) and the GAG concentration (P < 0.05). In repair tissue, a significant correlation was observed between ΔR1 and the GAG concentration (P < 0.05), but not between the R1post and the GAG concentration. In both repair tissue and native cartilage, no correlation was observed between T2 and the water concentration or between T2 and the hydroxyproline (HP) concentration. A zonal variation of T2 and a clear dependence of T2 on the angles relative to B0 were observed in native cartilage, but not in repair tissue.

Conclusion: dGEMRIC with ΔR1 measurement might be useful for the evaluation of the GAG concentration in repair tissue after microfracture. T2 mapping might be useful for the differentiation of repair tissue after microfracture from native cartilage; however, its potential to assess the specific biochemical markers in native cartilage as well as repair tissue may be limited.


peer-reviewed, magnetic resonance imaging, glycosaminoglycan, collagen, cartilage repair

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