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Improved assessment of macromolecular composition in articular cartilage with magnetic resonance through use multidimensional relaxation experiments.

Friday, November 08, 2013 — Poster Session III

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • H. Celik
  • M. Bouhrara
  • D. A. Reiter
  • K. W. Fishbein
  • R. G. Spencer


Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent age-associated disorder of articular cartilage that can lead to substantial morbidity. It is characterized by the gradual breakdown and loss of cartilage macromolecules. Multi-exponential analysis of the magnetic resonance (MR) transverse relaxation signal has been developed to evaluate unbound and macromolecule-associated water pools in cartilage. Each water pool contributes an individual transverse relaxation component. Extracting these components from the signal requires a transformation known as the inverse Laplace transform (ILT). However, the ILT is an ill-conditioned mathematical process. This means that the results are highly sensitive to small perturbations in the data, such as are typically due to noise. In our case, these properties lead to substantial difficulty in assessing the degradation state of cartilage matrix. However, we have recently discovered that the 2-dimensional (2D) ILT, under certain conditions, exhibits markedly improved stability as compared to the conventional 1D ILT, even when comparing 1D and 2D experiments on an equal-time basis. Finally, experiments performed on bovine knee articular cartilage further confirm these results in an actual tissue system. Relaxation analysis through use of the 2D ILT may greatly improve MR assessment of tissue composition. This work is being extended to the analysis of human cartilage.

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