Ultrashort Time to Echo Magnetic Resonance Evaluation of Calcium Pyrophosphate Crystal Deposition in Human Menisci

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ObjectivesIn human menisci, we aimed to investigate whether calcium pyrophosphate crystal deposition (CPPD) affects biomechanical and quantitative MR properties, and their zonal distribution.Materials and MethodsFrom 9 cadaveric knees, sectioned triangular meniscus pieces were harvested. Samples were classified into “normal” or “CPPD” groups based upon visual inspection. Micro computed tomography scan verified CPPD. Using magnetic resonance imaging, ultrashort echo time (UTE) T2* and spin echo (SE) T2, quantitative values in 3 zones (red, red-white, and white) were determined. Using biomechanical test, indentation forces in the same zones were determined. Effects of CPPD and meniscal zone on indentation force and quantitative MR values were compared.ResultsOn UTE MRI scans, CPPD-affected menisci exhibited punctate dark regions, found mostly (92%) in avascular white and red-white zones. Indentation forces were significantly higher for CPPD samples in the red-white (all P < 0.02) and white (all P < 0.004) zones but not in the vascular red zone (all P > 0.2). Similarly, UTE T2* red zone values were similar between both groups (~6.6 milliseconds, P = 0.8), whereas in the red-white and white zones, CPPD samples had significantly lower values (~5.1 milliseconds, P = 0.005 to 0.007). In contrast, SE T2 values showed no difference with CPPD (P = 0.12 to 0.16). UTE T2*, but not SE T2, correlated significantly with indentation force (R = −0.29, P = 0.009).ConclusionsDark CPP deposits were detectable on UTE images featuring high signal intensity from surrounding meniscal tissue. Preliminary results indicate that CPP deposits were almost exclusively found in the avascular zones. Compared with normal, CPPD menisci featured higher indentation stiffness and lower UTE T2* values in the affected zones.

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