Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Davis

UC Davis Previously Published Works bannerUC Davis

Longitudinal MRI structural findings observed in accelerated knee osteoarthritis: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.

  • Author(s): Foreman, Sarah C;
  • Neumann, Jan;
  • Joseph, Gabby B;
  • Nevitt, Michael C;
  • McCulloch, Charles E;
  • Lane, Nancy E;
  • Link, Thomas M
  • et al.

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.


To analyze structural, longitudinal MRI findings during the development of accelerated knee osteoarthritis (AKOA) over 4 years.

Materials and methods

From the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), knees with no radiographic osteoarthritis (KL 0/1) developing advanced-stage osteoarthritis (KL 3/4; AKOA) within a 4-year (y) timeframe were selected. MRIs were graded using the modified Whole-Organ Magnetic Resonance Imaging Score (WORMS) at the beginning of the 4-year timeframe (index visit), at 2-year, and 4-year follow-up. Morphological and clinical findings associated with KL 3/4 onset within 2 years compared to 4 years were assessed using generalized estimating equations.


AKOA was found in 162 knees of 149 subjects (age 63.25 ± 8.3; 103 females; BMI 29.4 ± 3.9). Moderate to severe meniscal lesions WORMS ≥ 3 were present in 25% (41/162) at the index visit, 64% (104/162) at 2-year and 93% (151/162) at 4-year follow-up. Meniscal extrusion was the most prevalent finding (ranging from 18% at the index visit, 45% at 2-year and 94% at 4-year follow-up) and root tears were the most common types of tears (9% at the index visit; 22% at 2 years and 38% at 4 years). Risk factors associated with KL 3/4 onset within 2 years included root tears at the index visit (adjusted OR, 2.82; 95% CI: 1.33, 6.00; p = 0.007) and incident knee injury (42%, 49/116 vs. 24%, 11/46, p = 0.032).


Meniscal abnormalities, in particular extrusion and root tears, were the most prevalent morphological features found in subjects with AKOA. These results suggest that meniscal abnormalities have a significant role in accelerated progression of OA.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item