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Abstract #0846

High-Resolution DTI to Study Articular Cartilage Dehydration

Cesare E. M. Gruber1,2, Silvia Capuani, 12, Giovanni Giulietti3, Tommaso Gili, 1,3, Bruno Maraviglia1,4

1Physics, SAPIENZA University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 2Physics, CNR-INFN SOFT, Rome, Italy; 3MARBILab, Enrico Fermi Center, Rome, Italy; 4Neuroimaging Laboratory, IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Italy

T2-w scans and DTI were used to monitor degradation processes in cartilage samples due to dehydration. T2-w measures did not provide useful information. Conversely, DTI revealed a decrease of MD and an increase of FA over the first 48hrs, thus suggesting a reduction of water content and a consequent increase of collagen fibril density. More interestingly, increased MD and decreased FA were observed between 48 and 60hrs. This finding likely reflects degeneration of proteoglycans. These experimental observations propose a new model to investigate the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis, and might prompt a new MRI approach for diagnostic purposes in humans.