Quantitative Analysis of Local Changes in Patellar Cartilage in Spinal Cord Injured Subjects

B. Vanwanseele, C. Pirnog, E. Stüssi, and G. Szekely (Switzerland)


:orthopaedics, articular cartilage, morphology, thicknessmaps, immobilization


There is evidence that cartilage changes in joint degeneration are rather a local than a global effect. However, most studies investigating articular cartilage changes only use global parameters such as volume to describe cartilage morphology of one joint surface. Consequently, there is a need for more sensible methods to detect disease progression. Therefore, the aim of this study was to establish and use a method that detects local changes in patellar articular cartilage thickness in spinal cord injured (SCI) patients. MR images of the knee of 7 healthy volunteers were acquired four times. The knee of 7 SCI subjects was imaged as soon as possible, 6 months and 12 months after the injury. Morphologic parameters for the patellar cartilage and for 4 subregions were computed from the MRI data. Using the RMS of the maximal SD for the thickness maps, Z scores were generated for the measured thickness changes in the SCI patients. The reproducibility of our methods is highly satisfactory (CV% range 1.4 2.6). The changes in the patellar cartilage thickness of the SCI subjects are located in the lateral facet of the patella. The Z-score maps are a valuable tool to detect local changes in the patellar cartilage.

Important Links:

Go Back