Value Of Micro-Ct As An Investigative Tool For Osteochondritis Dissecans

A preliminary study with comparison to histology


*Andreas Mohr, Department of Radiology, University of California San Francisco, 350 Parnassus Ave., Suite 150, San Francisco, CA 94117–3608, USA.
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Purpose:  To evaluate micro computed tomography (micro-CT) for the assessment of osteochondritis dissecans in comparison with histology.

Material and Methods:  Osteochondritis dissecans lesions of 3 patients were evaluated using micro-CT (0.125 mA, 40 keV, 60 μm slice thickness, 60 μm isotropic resolution, entire sample) and light microscopy (toluidine blue, 3–5 μm slice thickness). The methods were compared regarding preparation time, detectability of tissue types and morphologic features of bone and cartilage.

Results:  Non-destructive micro-CT imaging of the entire sample was faster than histologic preparation of a single slice for light microscopy. Morphologic features of bone and cartilage could be imaged in a comparable way to histology. It was not possible to image cells or different tissue types of bone and cartilage with micro-CT.

Conclusion:  Micro-CT is a fast, non-destructive tool that may be a supplement or, if detailed histologic information is not necessary, an alternative to light microscopy for the investigation of osteochondritis dissecans.