23Na MR imaging at 7 T after knee matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation: Preliminary results

Siegfried Trattnig, Goetz H. Welsch, Vladimir Juras, Pavol Szomolanyi, Marius E. Mayerhoefer, David Stelzeneder, Tallal C. Mamisch, Oliver Bieri, Klaus Scheffler, Štefan Zbýň

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100 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of sodium 7-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in repaired tissue and native cartilage of patients after matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) and compare results with delayed gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC) at 3 T. Materials and Methods: Ethical approval was provided by the local ethics committee; written informed consent was obtained from all patients. Six women and six men (mean age, 32.8 year ± 8.2 [standard deviation] and 32.3 years ± 12.7, respectively) were included. Mean time between MACT and MR was 56 months ± 28. A variable three-dimensional (3D) gradient-echo (GRE) dual-flip-angle technique was used for T1 mapping before and after contrast agent administration at 3 T. All patients were also examined at 7 T (mean delay, 70.5 days ± 80.1). A sodium 23-only transmit-receive knee coil was used with the 3D GRE sequence. A statistical analysis of variance and Pearson correlation were applied. Results: Mean signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) was 24 in native cartilage and was 16 in transplants (P < .001). Mean sodium signal intensities normalized with the reference sample were 174 ± 53 and 267 ± 42 for repaired tissue in the cartilage transplant and healthy cartilage, respectively (P < .001). Mean postcontrast T1 values were 510 msec ± 195 and 756 msec ± 188 for repaired tissue and healthy cartilage, respectively (P =.005). Mean score of MR observation of cartilage repair tissue was 75 ± 14. Association between postcontrast T1 and normalized sodium signal values showed a high Pearson correlation coefficient (R) of 0.706 (P =.001). A high correlation of R = 0.836 (P =.001) was found between ratios of normalized sodium values and ratios of T1 postcontrast values. Conclusion: With the modified 3D GRE sequence at 7 T, a sufficiently high SNR in sodium images was achieved, allowing for differentiation of repaired tissue from native cartilage after MACT. A strong correlation was found between sodium imaging and dGEMRIC in patients after MACT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-184
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


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