T2* Mapping for Hip Joint Cartilage Assessment: Pre-MRI Exercise and Time of Imaging Do Not Bias the T2* Measurement in Asymptomatic Volunteers

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To identify if the time of day and pre-imaging exercise matter while performing T2* mapping of hip joint cartilage at 3 T.


Nine asymptomatic healthy volunteers (mean age 27.4 ± 4.0 years) with no obvious morphological evidence of cartilage damage were enrolled. The MRI protocol included a double-echo steady state (DESS) sequence for morphological cartilage assessment and a multi-echo data image combination sequence for the T2* measurement. T2* values were obtained between 8 and 11 a.m., between 3 and 6 p.m., and after 50 knee-bends at several time points of each measurement (0, 15, 30, 45, 60 minutes).


We observed no differences (P = 0.47) between the T2* values obtained in the morning (T2* = 22.9 ± 3.0 ms) and those measured in the afternoon (T2* = 23.2 ± 3.2 ms). We also observed no statistically significant differences between the T2* values at different time points (P = 0.67) or after 50 knee-bends (P = 0.43).


Timing of the scan and pre-imaging exercise clearly did not matter in this modality. This study consolidates the value of T2* imaging in hip joint cartilage that seems to be independent of diurnal effects and physical activity prior to MRI.

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