Mapping tibiofemoral gonarthrosis: an MRI analysis of non-traumatic knee cartilage defects

Evangelopoulos, D S; Huesler, M; Ahmad, S S; Aghayev, E; Neukamp, M; Röder, C; Exadaktylos, A; Bonel, H; Kohl, S (2015). Mapping tibiofemoral gonarthrosis: an MRI analysis of non-traumatic knee cartilage defects. British journal of radiology, 88(1052), p. 20140542. British Institute of Radiology 10.1259/bjr.20140542

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OBJECTIVE Arthroscopy is "the gold standard" for the diagnosis of knee cartilage lesions. However, it is invasive and expensive, and displays all the potential complications of an open surgical procedure. Ultra-high-field MRI now offers good opportunities for the indirect assessment of the integrity and structural changes of joint cartilage of the knee. The goal of the present study is to determine the site of early cartilaginous lesions in adults with non-traumatic knee pain. METHODS 3-T MRI examinations of 200 asymptomatic knees with standard and three-dimensional double-echo steady-state (3D-DESS) cartilage-specific sequences were prospectively studied for early degenerative lesions of the tibiofemoral joint. Lesions were classified and mapped using the modified Outerbridge and modified International Cartilage Repair Society classifications. RESULTS A total of 1437 lesions were detected: 56.1% grade I, 33.5% grade II, 7.2% grade III and 3.3% grade IV. Cartographically, grade I lesions were most common in the anteromedial tibial areas; grade II lesions in the anteromedial L5 femoral areas; and grade III in the centromedial M2 femoral areas. CONCLUSION 3-T MRI with standard and 3D-DESS cartilage-specific sequences demonstrated that areas predisposed to early osteoarthritis are the central, lateral and ventromedial tibial plateau, as well as the central and medial femoral condyle. ADVANCES IN KNOWLEDGE In contrast with previous studies reporting early cartilaginous lesions in the medial tibial compartment and/or in the medial femoral condyle, this study demonstrates that, regardless of grade, lesions preferentially occur at the L5 and M4 tibial and L5 and L2 femoral areas of the knee joint.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Evaluative Research into Orthopaedic Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Orthopaedic Surgery
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > University Emergency Center

UniBE Contributor:

Evangelopoulos, Dimitrios Stergios; Ahmad, Sufian; Aghayev, Emin; Neukamp, Michal Sarah; Röder, Christoph; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis; Bonel, Harald Marcel and Kohl, Sandro


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




British Institute of Radiology




Fabian Röthlisberger

Date Deposited:

23 Mar 2016 10:14

Last Modified:

17 Jul 2016 02:30

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