Objectives: To determine the association of superolateral Hoffa’s fat pad (SHFP) oedema and patellofemoral joint structural damage in participants of Foundation for the National Institute of Health Osteoarthritis Biomarkers Consortium study. Methods: Baseline and 24-month MRIs of 600 subjects were assessed. The presence of SHFP oedema (using 0–3 grading scale) and patellar morphology metrics were determined using baseline MRI. Quantitative patellar cartilage volume and semi-quantitative MRI osteoarthritis knee score (MOAKS) variables were extracted. The associations between SHFP oedema and patellar cartilage damage, bone marrow lesion (BML), osteophyte and morphology were evaluated in cross-sectional model. In longitudinal analysis, the associations between oedema and cartilage volume loss (defined using reliable change index) and MOAKS worsening were evaluated. Results: In cross-sectional evaluations, the presence of SHFP oedema was associated with simultaneous lateral patellar cartilage/BML defects and inferior-medial patellar osteophyte size. A significant positive correlation between the degree of patella alta and SHFP oedema was detected (r = 0.259, p < 0.001). The presence of oedema was associated with 24-month cartilage volume loss (odds ratio (OR) 2.11, 95% confidence interval 1.46–3.06) and medial patellar BML size (OR 1.92 (1.15–3.21)) and number (OR 2.50 (1.29–4.88)) worsening. The optimal cut-off value for the grade of baseline SHFP oedema regarding both presence and worsening of patellar structural damage was ≥ 1 (presence of any SHFP hyperintensity). Conclusions: The presence of SHFP oedema could be considered as a predictor of future patellar cartilage loss and BML worsening, and an indicator of simultaneous cartilage, BML and osteophyte defects. Key Points: • SHFP oedema was associated with simultaneous lateral patellar OA-related structural damage. • SHFP oedema was associated with longitudinal patellar cartilage loss over 24 months. • SHFP oedema could be considered as indicator and predictor of patellar OA.
- Magnetic resonance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging