Won C. Bae1, Jerry R. Dwek2, Richard Znamirowski1, Sheronda Statum1, Juan C. Hermida3, Darryl D. DLima4, Robert L. Sah5, Jiang Du1, Christine B. Chung1
1Radiology, UC San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA; 2Childrens Hospital and Health Center, UC San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA; 3Scripps Clinic; 4Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, CA, USA; 5Bioengineering, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Joint diseases may involve abnormalities in the junction between cartilage and bone. Using Ultrashort Time-to-Echo (UTE) MRI techniques, tissues with short T2 properties at this junction become visible, unlike when conventional sequences are used. UTE MR signature of human osteochondral tissues near the junction (uncalcified cartilage, calcified cartilage and subchondral bone) was determined, using experimental treatments to isolate specific components. Both calcified cartilage and the deepest layer of uncalcified cartilage were identified as tissues contributing to the UTE signal. This study has implications for clinical evaluation of the osteochondral junction and introduces new opportunities for assessing joint disease using MRI.