Open Access Research article

Evaluation of radial distribution of cartilage degeneration and necessity of pre-contrast measurements using radial dGEMRIC in adults with acetabular dysplasia

Li Xu12, Yongbin Su1, Karl-Philipp Kienle3, Daichi Hayashi2, Ali Guermazi2, Jing Zhang1, Yongming Dai4 and Xiaoguang Cheng1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiology, 4th Medical College of Peking University (Beijing Jishuitan Hospital), 31 Xinjiekou East Street, Beijing, 100035, China

2 Department of Radiology, Boston University School of Medicine, FGH Building 3rd Floor, 820 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA, 02118, USA

3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

4 Siemens Healthcare China, MR Collaborations NE Asia, Shanghai, 201318, China

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012, 13:212  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-212

Published: 30 October 2012



The purpose of the present study was to investigate the radial distribution patterns of cartilage degeneration in dysplastic hips at different stages of secondary osteoarthritis (OA) by using radial delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC), and to assess whether pre-contrast measurements are necessary.


Thirty-five hips in 21 subjects (mean age ± SD, 27.6 ± 10.8 years) with acetabular dysplasia (lateral CE angle < 25°) were studied. Severity of OA was assessed on radiographs using Tönnis grading. Pre- (T1pre) and post-contrast T1 (T1Gd) values were measured at 7 sub-regions on radial reformatted slices acquired from a 3-dimensional (3D) T1 mapping sequence using a 1.5 T MR scanner. Values of radial T1pre, T1Gd and ΔR1 (1/T1Gd - 1/T1pre) of subgroups with different severity of OA were compared to those of the subgroup without OA using nonparametric tests, and bivariate linear Pearson correlations between radial T1Gd and ΔR1 were analyzed for each subgroup.


Compared to the subgroup without OA, the subgroup with mild OA was observed with a significant decrease in T1Gd in the anterosuperior to superior sub-regions (mean, 476 ~ 507 ms, p = 0.026 ~ 0.042) and a significant increase in ΔR1 in the anterosuperior to superoposterior and posterior sub-regions (mean, 0.93 ~ 1.37 s-1, p = 0.012 ~ 0.042). The subgroup with moderate to severe OA was observed with a significant overall decrease in T1Gd (mean, 404 ~ 452 ms, p = 0.001 ~ 0.020) and an increase in ΔR1 (mean, 1.17 ~1.69 s-1, p = 0.001 ~ 0.020). High correlations were observed between radial T1Gd and ΔR1 for all subgroups (r = −0.869 ~ −0.944, p < 0.001).


Radial dGEMRIC without pre-contrast measurements is useful for evaluating different patterns of cartilage degeneration in the entire hip joint of patients with hip dysplasia, particularly for those in early stages of secondary OA.

Acetabular dysplasia; Cartilage degeneration; Radial magnetic resonance imaging; dGEMRIC