September 2016

Not all meniscal pathology on MRI is relevant in patients with knee OA

In the moment: Knee OA

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Some—but not all—characteristics of meniscal damage on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are associated with knee osteoarthritis (OA) severity and two-year progression, according to research from Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA.

As an ancillary project to the Osteoarthritis Initiative, investigators analyzed MRI scans of 465 patients with knee OA (71% had a Kellgren-Lawrence radiographic severity grade of 2 or higher) at two visits, two years apart. Findings were adjusted for each patient’s age, sex, and body mass index.

Meniscal maceration was significantly associated with baseline knee pain, prevalence of end-stage knee OA, and bone marrow lesion (BML) volume, along with the change in BML volume at two years.

Morphological deformity/ extrusion (altered meniscal shape and/or extrusion but no apparent substance loss) was also significantly associated with baseline BML volume and change in BML volume at two years.

Neither intrameniscal signal nor the presence of meniscal tear were associated with any of the assessed measures of knee OA severity or progression. Osteo­arthritis & Cartilage epublished the findings on August 15.


Antony B, Driban JB, Price LL, et al. The relationship between meniscal pathology and osteoarthritis depends on the type of meniscal damage visible on magnetic resonance images: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2016 Aug 15. [Epub ahead of print]

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