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Geith, Tobias; Brun, Emmanuel; Mittone, Alberto; Gasilov, Sergei; Weber, Loriane; Adam-Neumair, Silvia; Bravin, Alberto; Reiser, Maximilian; Coan, Paola; Horng, Annie (2018): Quantitative Assessment of Degenerative Cartilage and Subchondral Bony Lesions in a Preserved Cadaveric Knee: Propagation-Based Phase-Contrast CT Versus Conventional MRI and CT. In: American Journal of Roentgenology, Vol. 210, No. 6: pp. 1317-1322
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OBJECTIVE. The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess hyaline cartilage and subchondral bone conditions in a fully preserved cadaveric human knee joint using high-resolution x-ray propagation-based phase-contrast imaging (PBI) CT and to compare the performance of the new technique with conventional CI' and MRI. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A cadaveric human knee was examined using an x-ray beam of 60 keV, a detector with a 90-mm(2) FOV, and a pixel size of 46 x 46 mu m(2) . PBI CT images were reconstructed with both the filtered back projection algorithm and the equally sloped tomography method. Conventional 3-T MRI and CT were also performed. Measurements of cartilage thickness, cartilage lesions, International Cartilage Repair Society scoring, and detection of subchondral bone changes were evaluated. Visual inspection of the specimen akin to arthroscopy was conducted and served as a standard of reference for lesion detection. RESULTS. Loss of cartilage height was visible on PBI CT and MRI. Quantification of cartilage thickness showed a strong correlation between the two modalities. Cartilage lesions appeared darker than the adjacent cartilage on PBI CT. PBI CT showed similar agreement to MRI for depicting cartilage substance defects or lesions compared with the visual inspection. The assessment of subchondral bone cysts showed moderate to strong agreement between PBI CT and CT. CONCLUSION. In contrast to the standard clinical methods of MRI and CT, PBI CT is able to simultaneously depict cartilage and bony changes at high resolution. Though still an experimental technique, PBI CT is a promising high-resolution imaging method to evaluate comprehensive changes of osteoarthritic disease in a clinical setting.