Neil Segal, MD, MS
Dr. George Varghese Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine
Director of Clinical Research
Medical Director of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
University of Kansas Medical Center
INTRODUCTION: Meniscal extrusion may be missed on non-weight-bearing MRI. Failure to detect meniscal extrusion has hampered development of effective therapies for osteoarthritis (OA) prevention. Weight-Bearing CT (WBCT) has been found to be more sensitive and accurate for other knee OA features, and more accurate assessment of meniscal damage could potentially improve prediction of worsening joint structure and pain.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the rate of detection and severity of meniscal extrusions visualized on WBCT vs. on MRI in older adults with or at elevated risk for knee OA.
METHODS: Ancillary to the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST), a longitudinal study of knee OA in older Americans, fixed-flexion knee images were acquired using a prototype WBCT scanner. A 3D dataset with an isotropic resolution of 0.37mm was reconstructed from cone beam projections. MRI was acquired using a 1.5T peripheral scanner with participants seated and the knee semi-flexed. Radiologists, blinded to patient identifiers, scored meniscal extrusion severity on each modality (0/1/2/3). Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) grade of knee OA was collected as part of MOST.
RESULTS: Of 864 participants with WBCT imaging of the knees, 284 had MRI read for meniscal extrusion. WBCT detected extrusion not detected on MRI in 27.1% of medial and 8.5% of lateral menisci and higher grades of extrusion for 30.6% of medial and 8.8% of lateral menisci (full results in Tables 1 & 2). Knees with greater medial and lateral extrusions visualized on WBCT were predominantly those with early OA (KL<2 for 80.5% and 64% respectively). An example case in which meniscal extrusion visualization differed between modalities is included in Figure 1.
CONCLUSION: WBCT detects meniscal extrusions not detected on standard MRI. Detection of this risk factor for OA progression people with early disease supports a need to assess longitudinal associations between meniscal extrusion detected on WBCT and worsening of pain and joint structure.
SPONSOR: NIH-NIAMS R01 AR071648, NIH-NIA U01 AG018832, U01 AG19069