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

UCSF

UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Evaluation of human cartilage endplate composition using MRI: Spatial variation, association with adjacent disc degeneration, and in vivo repeatability.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.1002/jor.24787
Abstract

Cartilage endplate (CEP) biochemical composition may influence disc degeneration and regeneration. However, evaluating CEP composition in patients remains a challenge. We used T2* mapping from ultrashort echo-time (UTE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is sensitive to CEP hydration, to investigate spatial variations in CEP T2* values and to determine how CEP T2* values correlate with adjacent disc degeneration. Thirteen human cadavers (56.4 ± 12.7 years) and seven volunteers (36.9 ± 10.9 years) underwent 3T MRI, including UTE and T1ρ mapping sequences. Spatial mappings of T2* values in L4-S1 CEPs were generated from UTE images and compared between subregions. In the abutting discs, mean T1ρ values in the nucleus pulposus were compared between CEPs with high vs low T2* values. To assess in vivo repeatability, precision errors in mean T2* values, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were measured from repeat scans. Results showed that CEP T2* values were highest centrally and lowest posteriorly. In the youngest individuals (<50 years), who had mild-to-moderately degenerated Pfirrmann grade II-III discs, low CEP T2* values associated with severer disc degeneration: T1ρ values were 26.7% lower in subjects with low CEP T2* values (P = .025). In older individuals, CEP T2* values did not associate with disc degeneration (P = .39-.62). Precision errors in T2* ranged from 1.7 to 2.6 ms, and reliability was good-to-excellent (ICC = 0.89-0.94). These findings suggest that deficits in CEP composition, as indicated by low T2* values, associate with severer disc degeneration during the mild-to-moderate stages. Measuring CEP T2* values with UTE MRI may clarify the role of CEP composition in patients with mild-to-moderate disc degeneration.

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.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View