Garry E. Gold1,2, Seungbum Koo1, Ernesto Starosweicki1, Ronald Watkins1, Brian A. Hargreaves1, Neal K. Bangerter3
1Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; 2Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA; 3Electrical and Computer Engineering, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA
Early osteoarthritis can occur in patients who have torn their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Sodium MRI correlates with glycosaminoglcan (GAG) in the articular cartilage. Using a custom coil and 3D cones sequence, we measured the signal in the sodium of the articular cartilage of 10 subjects with ACL tears between 2-10 years ago. We showed decreased sodium signal in the ACL-injured knees of our subjects compared to their contralateral knee. We also showed increased sodium signal in the medial compartment compared with the lateral compartment. Sodium MRI is a promising method for detection of early GAG loss in the knee.