Relationship Between Meniscal Degeneration and Element Contents

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The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between meniscal degeneration and element contents. The contents of elements (calcium, phosphorus, sulfur, and magnesium) in the menisci from 17 patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, 6 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and 2 who underwent the surgical operation for malignant tumors (control) were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma–atomic emission spectrometry, and the menisci were divided into four stages (Stage 0–3) of histological degeneration.The calcium contents of the menisci were 0.26 ± 0.16 in Stage 0, 0.50 ± 0.37 in Stage 1, and 0.69 ± 0.66 in Stage 2, respectively (the values represent mg elements/g dry tissue). They increased with the progression of the stage. This tendency was found in the menisci with OA, but was not clear in those with RA. The calcium content in the control group was 0.17 ± 0.09 mg/g. There was no significant relationship between the stage of degeneration and the contents of phosphorus, sulfur, or magnesium. The calcium content of the meniscus might indicate the degree of meniscal degeneration.

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