T2-mapping MRI evaluation of patellofemoral cartilage in patients submitted to intra-articular platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.

Published on May 18, 2021in Radiologia Medica2
· DOI :10.1007/S11547-021-01372-6
Flavia Cobianchi Bellisari1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of L'Aquila),
Luigi De Marino2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Marche Polytechnic University)
+ 12 AuthorsAntonio Barile30
Estimated H-index: 30
(University of L'Aquila)
This study evaluated the ability of T2 mapping magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T, in addition to morphological sequences, to assess efficacy of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, characterizing qualitatively and quantitatively the grade of knee cartilage repair in patients with patellofemoral chondropathy. We retrospectively studied 34 patients (22 men, 12 women, mean age 41.8 years, including 22 men) with patellofemoral knee chondropathy, who underwent intra-articular PRP injections and completed a clinical and instrumental follow-up. As control group, we evaluated 34 patients who underwent non-operative therapy. All patients were submitted to clinical (using VAS and WOMAC index) and imaging studies with 3 T magnetic resonance with cartilage analysis with T2 mapping sequences for cartilage analysis before and after treatment. In the study group, mean pre-treatment T2 relaxation time values were 44.2 ± 2.5 ms, considering all articular cartilage compartments, with significant reduction at the follow-up (p < 0.001). At the index compartment, mean pre-treatment T2 relaxation times values were 47.8 ± 3.6 ms, with statistically significant reduction at the follow-up (p < 0.001). Evaluation of focal cartilage lesions reported pre-treatment mean T2 value of 70.1 ± 13.0 ms and post-treatment mean value of 59.9 ± 4.6 ms (p < 0.001). From a clinical point of view, the pre-treatment WOMAC and VAS scores were 18.3 ± 4.5 and 7 (IQR:6-7.2), respectively; the post-treatment values were 7.3 ± 3.2 and 2 (IQR: 1.7-3.0), respectively (p < 0.001). In the control group, despite clinical improvement, we didn't find significant T2 values change during the follow-up period. In conclusion, T2 mapping is a valuable indicator for chondropathy and treatment-related changes over time.
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