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Title: Measurement of articular joint cartilage by MRI
Author: Campbell, E. M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1999
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Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is increasingly used to assess damage and disease in articular joints. This Thesis describes improvements in hardware and pulse sequences, to facilitate the visualization and quantitation of articular cartilage in human and rabbit knees, and in interphalangeal (IP) finger joints. Work on the human knee focused on the acquisition of localised 3D data-sets from each compartment individually, using a surface coil in transmit/receive mode. The advantage of the increase spatial resolution from localised MRI, was illustrated by comparison of the resulting patella articular cartilage thickness measurements, with equivalent measurements based on 3D volume scans. Those results clearly demonstrated that low spatial resolution images can over-estimate articular cartilage thickness. Rabbit knees with induced 'Quinoline Arthropathy' (QA) and 'Rheumatoid Arthritis' (RA) were also imaged and by optimising the RF probe configuration, it was possible to improve the spatial resolution, as compared with literature reports. Articular cartilage visualisation of the normal and QA joints was optimum for MTC-subtraction images; edge detection maps of those joints clearly showed the articular cartilage boundaries for normal as well as the swollen articular cartilage. The late stage pathology of the RA joints when imaged prevented some contrast regimes from being fully assessed for articular cartilage visualisation. However, the high spatial resolution 3D acquisitions of these rabbit knees clearly demonstrated the full extent of the joint damage, and in particular the severity of bone erosions. Initially the finger work optimised the MRI acquisition and data processing protocols for simultaneously measuring the joint space thickness in 3 DIP and 3 PIP joints in one hand. The results illustrated both the sensitivity of the different statistical measurements and the potential for further evaluation. This work demonstrates the scope of MRI for quantitative analysis of articular cartilage. It also illustrates the benefits of optimising RF probes for the required region-of-interest (ROI) and pulse sequences for articular cartilage visualisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available