gms | German Medical Science

54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e. V.

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung

16.06. bis 18.06.2005, Hamburg

3-Tesla-MRI of the articular cartilage of the knee vs. arthroscopy as gold standard: preliminary clinical results

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author L. von Engelhardt - Klinik und Poliklinik für Orthopädie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Bonn
  • C.N. Kraft - Bonn
  • M. von Falkenhausen - Bonn
  • A. Stütz - Bonn
  • P. Pennekamp - Bonn
  • A. Schmitz - Bonn
  • O. Schmitt - Bonn

Norddeutsche Orthopädenvereinigung. 54. Jahrestagung der Norddeutschen Orthopädenvereinigung e.V.. Hamburg, 16.-18.06.2005. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2005. Doc05novEP61

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 13, 2005

© 2005 von Engelhardt et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




Daily surgical experience shows that cartilage lesions of the knee are difficult to evaluate by standard MRI-diagnostics. Also in literature the value of routine MR-imaging for the detection of hyaline cartilage lesions is discussed controversially. In contrast to scanners with lower field strengths, the 3-Tesla-MRI with higher spatial resolution and shorter acquisition times offers a logical advantage in the examination of fibrocartilaginous structures. First animal trials have been performed whereas to our knowledge clinical studies have as yet not been published.

Materials and Methods

The present currently ongoing study already includes 10 patients with osteoarthritis and chronic knee pain who underwent a pre-surgical 3-Tesla-MR-scan. MRI was performed a few days prior to diagnostic and therapeutic arthroscopy with the following sequences: ax. T2-FFE, ax. 3D-T1-FFE, cor. T1-SE, sag./cor PD with SPIR (Philips Medical Systems, Intera Achieva 3.0T™). Grade and localization of the detected lesions were compared with the results of arthroscopy. Cartilage abnormalities seen in the 3-Tesla-MRI were divided in stages I to IV as described by Bachmann. Arthroscopic findings were classified according to the system of Shariaree.


With regard to both intrinsic signal intensity changes and surface contour changes cartilage abnormalities were demonstrated in our study. Especially in advanced stages (stages III - IV) of cartilage lesions a positive correlation of 3-Tesla-MRI and arthroscopy findings has been found.


These results suggest that detectability of cartilage changes can be improved by highfield MRI which is essential for a critical assessment of different treatments for cartilage diseases.