Objective: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role of collapse on the degeneration of articular cartilage in patients with osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH). Materials and methods: Sixteen hips in 12 patients (four men, eight women; mean age, 34.8 years) with a history of systemic corticosteroid treatment were studied using T1 rho magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Six hips had collapsed ONFH, five had non-collapsed ONFH, and five had no osteonecrosis (controls). Using oblique coronal images, we divided the articular surface of necrotic femoral heads into a region just above the necrotic bone (necrotic zone) and another above the living bone (living zone). T1 rho value was evaluated for each zone. Results: The mean T1 rho value in the necrotic zone was significantly higher in the collapsed ONFH group (48.4 ± 2.7 ms) than in the non-collapsed ONFH group (41.0 ± 0.9 ms). In the collapsed ONFH group, the mean T1 rho value was significantly higher in the necrotic zone (48.4 ± 2.7 ms) than in the living zone (43.5 ± 2.5 ms). In the non-collapsed ONFH group, there was no significant difference between the mean T1 rho values of the necrotic and living zones. In the collapsed ONFH group, the mean T1 rho value of the necrotic zone and the interval from pain onset to the MRI examination were positively correlated. Conclusions: The current T1 rho MRI study suggested that the degeneration of articular cartilage in ONFH begins at the necrotic region after collapse.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging