MRI texture analysis of subchondral bone at the tibial plateau

James W MacKay, Philip J Murray, Bahman Kasmai, Glyn Johnson, Simon T Donell, Andoni P Toms

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OBJECTIVES: To determine the feasibility of MRI texture analysis as a method of quantifying subchondral bone architecture in knee osteoarthritis (OA).  

METHODS: Asymptomatic subjects aged 20-30 (group 1, n = 10), symptomatic patients aged 40-50 (group 2, n = 10) and patients scheduled for knee replacement aged 55-85 (group 3, n = 10) underwent high spatial resolution T1-weighted coronal 3T knee MRI. Regions of interest were created in the medial (MT) and lateral (LT) tibial subchondral bone from which 20 texture parameters were calculated. T2 mapping of the tibial cartilage was performed in groups 1 and 2. Mean parameter values were compared between groups using ANOVA. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) was used to evaluate the ability of texture analysis to classify subjects correctly.  

RESULTS: Significant differences in 18/20 and 12/20 subchondral bone texture parameters were demonstrated between groups at the MT and LT respectively. There was no significant difference in mean MT or LT cartilage T2 values between group 1 and group 2. LDA demonstrated subject classification accuracy of 97 % (95 % CI 91-100 %).  

CONCLUSION: MRI texture analysis of tibial subchondral bone may allow detection of alteration in subchondral bone architecture in OA. This has potential applications in understanding OA pathogenesis and assessing response to treatment.  

KEY POINTS: • Improved techniques to monitor OA disease progression and treatment response are desirable • Subchondral bone (SB) may play significant role in the development of OA • MRI texture analysis is a method of quantifying changes in SB architecture • Pilot study showed that this technique is feasible and reliable • Significant differences in SB texture were demonstrated between individuals with/without OA.  

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3034–3045
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number9
Early online date17 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee
  • MRI
  • Bone
  • Discriminant analysis

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