Melissa Ann Vogelsong1,2, George Pappas3, Ernesto Staroswiecki1,4, Neal K. Bangerter5, Eric Han6, Brian A. Hargreaves1, Hillary J. Braun1, Marc R. Safran3, Garry E. Gold1
1Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; 2UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA, USA; 3Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University; 4Electrical Engineering, Stanford University; 5Electrical Engineering, Brigham Young University; 6GE Global Applied Sciences Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA
Advances in imaging of cartilage biochemistry allow a more nuanced look at the effects of exercise on articular cartilage. T2 mapping reflects collagen structure and water content, while T1ρ and sodium MRI reflect proteoglycan content. We imaged 21 knees of collegiate basketball players before and after one season and assessed knee health using conventional proton, T2 mapping, T1ρ and sodium MRI. Rates of morphological pathologies remained relatively stable while T1ρ decreased in all patellar and tibiofemoral regions, T2 increased in the medial femur, lateral femur and medial tibia, and sodium signal decreased in the patella, suggesting that basketball may have varying effects on different cartilage regions.