eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2007   Volume No 13– pages 46-55

Title: Comparison of novel clinically applicable methodology for sensitive diagnostics of cartilage degeneration

Author: P Kiviranta, J Töyräs, MT Nieminen, MS Laasanen, S Saarakkala, HJ Nieminen, MJ Nissi, JS Jurvelin

Address: Department of Physics, University of Kuopio, P.O.B 1627, 70211 Kuopio, Finland

E-mail: panu.kiviranta at

Key Words: articular cartilage, osteoarthritis, patella, bovine, arthroscopy, magnetic resonance imaging, dGEMRIC, indentation, ultrasound.

Publication date: April 3rd 2007

Abstract: In order efficiently to target therapies intending to stop or reverse degenerative processes of articular cartilage, it would be crucial to diagnose osteoarthritis (OA) earlier and more sensitively than is possible with the existing clinical methods. Unfortunately, current clinical methods for OA diagnostics are insensitive for detecting the early degenerative changes, e.g., arising from collagen network damage or proteoglycan depletion. We have recently investigated several novel quantitative biophysical methods, including ultrasound indentation, quantitative ultrasound techniques and magnetic resonance imaging, for diagnosing the degenerative changes of articular cartilage, typical for OA. In this study, the combined results of these novel diagnostic methods were compared with histological (Mankin score, MS), compositional (proteoglycan, collagen and water content) and mechanical (dynamic and equilibrium moduli) reference measurements of the same bovine cartilage samples. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was conducted to judge the diagnostic performance of each technique. Indentation and ultrasound techniques provided the most sensitive measures to differentiate samples of intact appearance (MS=0) from early (1<MS<3) or more advanced (MS>3) degeneration. Furthermore, these techniques were good predictors of tissue composition and mechanical properties. The specificity and sensitivity analyses revealed that the mechano-acoustic methods, when further developed for in vivo use, may provide more sensitive probes for OA diagnostics than the prevailing qualitative X-ray and arthroscopic techniques. Noninvasive quantitative MRI measurements showed slightly lower diagnostic performance than mechano-acoustic techniques. The compared methods could possibly also be used for the quantitative monitoring of success of cartilage repair.

Article download: Pages 46-55 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v013a05