Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) remains the imaging modality of choice for morphological and compositional evaluation of the articular cartilage. Accurate detection and characterization of cartilage lesions are necessary to guide the medical and surgical therapy and are also critical for longitudinal studies of the cartilage. Recent work using 3.0-T MRI systems shows promise in improving detection and characterization of the cartilage lesions, particularly with increasing use of high-resolution and high-contrast 3-dimensional sequences, which allow detailed morphological assessment of cartilage in arbitrary imaging planes. In addition, implementation of biochemical sequences in clinically feasible scan times has a potential in the early detection of cartilage lesions before they become morphologically apparent. This article discusses relative advantages and disadvantages of various commonly used as well as experimental MRI techniques to directly assess the morphology and indirectly evaluate the biochemical composition of the articular cartilage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging