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Keywords:

  • dGEMRIC;
  • osteochondral allograft transplantation;
  • cartilage imaging

Abstract

The protocol for delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) was adapted for the evaluation of transplanted osteochondral allograft cartilage. Eight patients with focal grade 4 cartilage defects of the femoral condyle were treated with single cylindrical osteochondral allografts. At 1 and 2 years, dGEMRIC image sequences were acquired and regions of interest (ROIs) were drawn in repair and native control cartilage. Mean T1 values of region of interest were used to calculate established dGEMRIC metrics. The correlation was measured between the ΔR1 and R1-Post metrics for repair and native cartilage. T1 times were measured in deep and superficial zones of cartilage. A strong correlation was identified between full-thickness, deep, and superficial ΔR1 and R1-Post values for native cartilage and repair cartilage for all years (range: 0.893–1.0). The mean T1 times and ΔR1 rate between deep and superficial regions of articular cartilage were statistically different for all regions of the distal femora analyzed at 1 year and 2 years after osteochondral allograft transplantation (P < 0.05). The dGEMRIC pre-Gadolinium scan is unnecessary when evaluating transplanted osteochondral allograft cartilage. The observation of stratified T1 and ΔR1 values indicates a need to re-evaluate the methodology behind the placement of region of interest in dGEMRIC. Magn Reson Med, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.