Nikita Garnov1, Wilfried Grnder2, Gregor Thrmer1, Robert Trampel3, Robert Turner3, Thomas Kahn1, Harald Busse1
1Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Leipzig University Hospital, Leipzig, Germany; 2institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany; 3Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany
Degenerative changes in arthritic joint cartilage start at the surface layer and are characterized by a decreased order of the anisotropic radial structures. A depletion of these structures could therefore be an indicator for early arthritic changes in the cartilage. In this study, the fiber structure of the knee cartilage was analyzed by high-resolution, angle-sensitive MRI measurements in a 7-T whole-body scanner. The comparison between 10 younger and 10 older healthy subjects revealed significant differences in the anisotropic structure of the femoral cartilage. The presented technique therefore holds promise for a non-invasive assessment of cartilage integrity.