Cartilage compositional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques are sensitive to changes in the composition of the extracellular matrix of articular cartilage. Their promise lies in the potential to detect the earliest stages of cartilage degeneration, at a stage where these changes may still be reversible. This is a considerable advantage over conventional (structural) MRI; even with the high spatial-resolution imaging offered by modern high-field (3T) MRI systems, by the time structural cartilage damage is apparent, there is (by definition) damage to the collagen matrix implying that the changes are probably already irreversible.
- Imaging biomarker
- Magnetic resonance imaging