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Abstract #0364

Reproducibility and regional variations of an optimized gagCEST protocol for the in vivo evaluation of knee cartilage at 7 Tesla

Markus Matthias Schreiner1,2, Stefan Zbyn2, Benjamin Schmitt3, Stephan Domayer1, Reinhard Windhager1, Siegfried Trattnig2, and Vladimir Mlynarik2

1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 2Department of Biomedical Imaging and Imag-Guided Therapy, High Field MR Centre, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria, 3Siemens Healthcare Pty Ltd, Macquarie Park, Australia

Early onset osteoarthritis is associated with ultrastructural and compositional changes of cartilage, in particular with a loss of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and disorganization of the collagen matrix. Both changes remain elusive to morphological MRI. GagCEST is a promising tool for the evaluation of glycosaminoglycan content in articular cartilage. However, it is affected by many variables, thus rendering its application challenging. The implementation of a novel saturation scheme combined with optimized fixation seems to improve the robustness of the technique as indicated by increased reproducibility. Our optimized protocol seems to be sensitive to regional differences in the GAG content.

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