Risto Ojala1, Riikka Partanen1, Ilkka Hannila1, Eveliina Lammentausta1, Marianne Haapea1, Osmo Tervonen1,2, Miika T. Nieminen1,2
1Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland; 2Department of Radiology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Varus and valgus malalignment of the knee is known to increase the risk of medial and lateral osteoarthritis, respectively. To assess whether knee alignment influences T2 relaxation time of tibio-femoral cartilage, T2 was measured at the weight-bearing cartilages of 30 patients with knee symptoms and 20 asymptomatic volunteers at 1.5T. Varus alignment resulted in a significant increase in T2 in the whole medial tibial cartilage and the deep parts of the femoral cartilage. Valgus alignment caused an increase only in tibial cartilage, predominantly in the medial compartment. T2 mapping may provide a sensitive tool to detect early degenerative cartilage changes.