Thomas Lange1, Michael Herbst1, Julian R. Maclaren2, Cris Lovell-Smith1, Kaywan Izadpanah3, Maxim Zaitsev1
1Department of Radiology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany; 2Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, United States; 3Department of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, University Medical Center Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
Knee MRI can be used to probe the mechanical properties of the articular cartilage by comparative volumetric measurements with and without mechanical loading. However, to date MRI studies with in situ loading have been hampered by excessive subject motion. In this work, it is demonstrated that almost artifact-free high-resolution cartilage MRI of loaded tibiofemoral as well as patellofemoral joints can be performed using prospective motion correction based on optical tracking with appropriate tracking marker placement. Load-induced compression of the patellar cartilage is quantified in six healthy subjects. The method might provide new insight into the altered biomechanics associated with chondromalacia.