Objective: To compare the sodium normalized mean signal intensity (NMSI) values between patients after bone marrow stimulation (BMS) and matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) cartilage repair procedures. Methods: Nine BMS and nine MACT patients were included. Each BMS patient was matched with one MACT patient according to age [BMS 36.7 ± 10.7 (mean ± standard deviation) years; MACT 36.9 ± 10.0 years], postoperative interval (BMS 33.5 ± 25.3 months; MACT 33.2 ± 25.7 months), and defect location. All magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements were performed on a 7 T system. Proton images served for morphological evaluation of repair tissue using the magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) scoring system. Sodium NMSI values in the repair area and morphologically normal cartilage were calculated. Clinical outcome was assessed right after MRI. Analysis of covariance, t-tests, and Pearson correlation coefficients were evaluated. Results: Sodium NMSI was significantly lower in BMS (P = 0.004) and MACT (P = 0.006) repair tissue, compared to reference cartilage. Sodium NMSI was not different between the reference cartilage in MACT and BMS patients (P = 0.664), however it was significantly higher in MACT than in BMS repair tissue (P = 0.028). Better clinical outcome was observed in BMS than in MACT patients. There was no difference between MOCART scores for MACT and BMS patients (P = 0.915). We did not observe any significant correlation between MOCART score and sodium repair tissue NMSI (r = -0.001; P = 0.996). Conclusions: Our results suggest higher glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content, and therefore, repair tissue of better quality in MACT than in BMS patients. Sodium imaging might be beneficial in non-invasive evaluation of cartilage repair surgery efficacy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Vienna Spots of Excellence des Wiener Wissenschafts-und Technologie-Fonds (WWTF) – Vienna Advanced Imaging Center – VIACLIC, OeNB Jubilaeumsfond #13834 , OeNB Jubilaeumsfond #13209 and Slovak Scientific Grant Agency VEGA 2/0090/11 . The study sponsors did not have a role in study design, the collection and analysis of data, interpretation of results and decision to publish.
- 7 T
- Cartilage repair tissue
- Knee cartilage
- Repair surgery efficacy
- Sodium MRI
- Spoiled gradient echo