T1ρ-mapping for assessing knee joint cartilage in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis - feasibility and repeatability

Anouk M Barendregt, Valentina Mazzoli, J Merlijn van den Berg, Taco W Kuijpers, Mario Maas, Aart J Nederveen, Robert Hemke

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Background: Ongoing arthritis in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can result in cartilage damage. Objective: To study the feasibility and repeatability of T for assessing knee cartilage in JIA and also to describe T values and study correlation between T and conventional MRI scores for disease activity. Materials and methods: Thirteen children with JIA or suspected JIA underwent 3-tesla (T) knee MRI that included conventional sequences and a T sequence. Segmentation of knee cartilage was carried out on T images. We used intraclass correlation coefficient to study the repeatability of segmentation in a subset of five children. We used the juvenile arthritis MRI scoring system to discriminate inflamed from non-inflamed knees. The Mann-Whitney U and Spearman correlation compared T between children with and without arthritis on MRI and correlated T with the juvenile arthritis MRI score. Results: All children successfully completed the MRI examination. No images were excluded because of poor quality. Repeatability of T measurement had an intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of 0.99 (P<0.001). We observed no structural cartilage damage and found no differences in T between children with (n=7) and without (n=6) inflamed knees (37.8 ms vs. 31.7 ms, P=0.20). However, we observed a moderate correlation between T values and the juvenile arthritis MRI synovitis score (r=0.59, P=0.04). Conclusion: This pilot study suggests that T is a feasible and repeatable quantitative imaging technique in children. T values were associated with the juvenile arthritis MRI synovitis score.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-379
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Radiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

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