Multiparametric 3-D analysis of bone and joint space width at the knee from weight bearing computed tomography

Tom D. Turmezei, Samantha B. Low, Simon Rupret, Graham M. Treece, Andrew H. Gee, James W. MacKay, John A. Lynch, Kenneth E. S. Poole, Neil A. Segal

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Objective: Computed tomography (CT) can deliver multiple parameters relevant to osteoarthritis. In this study we demonstrate that a 3-D multiparametric approach at the weight-bearing knee with cone beam CT is feasible, can include multiple parameters from across the joint space, and can reveal stronger relationships with disease status when parameters are combined.

Design: Weight-bearing (WBCT) images of the knees of 33 participants were analyzed with joint space mapping and cortical bone mapping to deliver joint space width (JSW), subchondral bone plate thickness, endocortical thickness, and trabecular attenuation on both sides of the joint. All data were co-localized to the same canonical surface. Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) was applied in uni- and multivariate models to demonstrate significant dependence of parameters on Kellgren & Lawrence grade (KLG). Correlations between JSW and bony parameters and 2-week test-retest repeatability were also calculated.

Results: SPM revealed that the central-to-posterior medial tibiofemoral joint space was significantly narrowed by up to 0.5 mm with significantly higher tibial trabecular attenuation — up to 50 attenuation units for each increment in KLG as a single parameter — and in a wider distribution when combined with others (p<0.05). They were also more strongly correlated with worsening KLG grade category. Test-retest repeatability was subvoxel (0.37 mm) for nearly all thickness parameters.

Conclusions: 3-D JSW and tibial trabecular attenuation are repeatable and significantly dependent on radiographic disease severity at the weight-bearing knee joint and even more so in combination. A quantitative multiparametric approach with WBCT may have potential for more sensitive investigation of disease progression in osteoarthritis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100069
JournalOsteoarthritis Imaging
Issue number2
Early online date17 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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