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Quantification of bone marrow water and lipid composition in anterior cruciate ligament-injured and osteoarthritic knees using three-dimensional magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging



To quantitatively evaluate longitudinal changes in water and lipid in knee bone marrow with and without bone marrow edema-like lesions (BMELs) in subjects with acutely ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs) or osteoarthritis (OA) using three-dimensional magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (3D MRSI).

Material and methods

Ten ACL and 10 OA subjects who presented with BMEL and seven BMEL-free controls were scanned at 3T. All ACL and OA subjects had one-year follow-up scans. 3D MRSI was acquired in BMEL and adjacent bone marrow, and water content (WC) and unsaturated lipid index (UI) were calculated in each region of interest.


At baseline, ACL BMEL WC was significantly higher than ACL non-BMEL, OA BMEL, and control WC; ACL non-BMEL WC, ACL BMEL UI, and OA BMEL WC were significantly higher than control. ACL BMEL WC decreased significantly one year post-reconstruction; UI decreased non-significantly (p=0.09). No significant changes in OA BMEL or ACL and OA non-BMEL WC and UI were observed.


3D MRSI is a powerful method of quantitatively assessing the biochemical composition of bone marrow in OA and ACL-injured knees, which may serve as imaging markers to improve comprehension of primary and secondary OA pathology.

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