Osteochondral repair: Evaluation with sweep imaging with fourier transform in an equine model

Jari Rautiainen, Lauri J. Lehto, Virpi Tiitu, Outi Kiekara, Hertta Pulkkinen, Anne Brun̈ott, René Van Weeren, Harold Brommer, Pieter A J Brama, Jutta Ellermann, Ilkka Kiviranta, Miika T. Nieminen, Mikko J. Nissi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the status of articular cartilage and bone in an equine model of spontaneous repair by using the sweep imaging with Fourier transform (SWIFT) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging technique. Materials and Methods: Experiments were approved by the Utrecht University Animal Ethics Committee. Six-millimeter-diameter chondral (n = 5) and osteochondral (n = 5, 3-4 mm deep into subchondral bone) defects were created in the intercarpal joints of seven 2-year-old horses and examined with SWIFT at 9.4 T after spontaneous healing for 12 months. Conventional T2 maps and gradient-echo images were obtained for comparison, and histologic assessment of cartilage and micro-computed tomography (CT) of bone were performed for reference. Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) analysis was performed, and a radiologist evaluated the MR images. Structural bone parameters were derived from SWIFT and micro-CT datasets. Significance of differences was investigated with the Wilcoxon signed rank test and Pearson correlation analysis. Results: SWIFT was able to depict the different outcomes of spontaneous healing of focal chondral versus osteochondral defects. SWIFT produced constant signal intensity throughout cartilage, whereas T2 mapping showed elevated T2 values (P = .06) in repair tissue (mean T2 in superficial region of interest in an osteochondral lesion = 50.0 msec ± 10.2) in comparison to adjacent intact cartilage (mean T2 = 32.7 msec 6 4.2). The relative SNR in the subchondral plate with SWIFT (0.91) was more than four times higher than that with conventional fast spin-echo (0.12) and gradient-echo (0.19) MR imaging. The correlation between bone volume-to-tissue volume fractions determined with SWIFT and micro-CT was significant (r = 0.83, P<, .01). Conclusion: SWIFT enabled assessment of spontaneous osteochondral repair in an equine model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2013


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