Morphological and biochemical T2 evaluation of cartilage repair tissue based on a hybrid double echo at steady state (DESS-T2d) approach




To use a new approach which provides, based on the widely used three-dimensional double-echo steady-state (DESS) sequence, in addition to the morphological information, the generation of biochemical T2 maps in one hybrid sequence.

Materials and Methods:

In 50 consecutive MRIs at 3.0 Tesla (T) after matrix-associated autologous chondrocyte transplantation (MACT) of the knee, by the use this new DESS-T2d approach, the morphological Magnetic resonance Observation of CArtilage Repair Tissue (MOCART) score, as well as biochemical T2d values were assessed. Furthermore, these results were correlated to standard morphological sequences as well as to standard multi-echo spin-echo T2 mapping.


The MOCART score correlated (Pearson:0.945; P < 0.001) significantly as assessed with standard morphological sequences (68.8 ± 13.2) and the morphological images of the DESS T2d sequence (68.7 ± 12.6). T2 and T2d relaxation times (ms) were comparable in between the control cartilage (T2: 52.5 ± 11.4; T2d: 46.6 ± 10.3) and the repair tissue (T2: 54.4 ± 11.4; T2d: 47.5 ± 13.0) (T2: P = 0.157; T2d: P = 0.589). As expected, T2d values were lower than the standard-T2 values, however, both functional relaxation times correlated significantly (Pearson:0.429; P < 0.001).


The presented hybrid approach provides the possibility to combine morphological and biochemical MRI in one fast 3D sequence, and thus, may attract for the clinical use of biochemical MRI. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2011;. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.