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Loading-Induced Changes in Cartilage Studied by NMR and MRI

Articular cartilage is a load-bearing tissue in joints that is compressed constantly in our daily activities. Compression (loading) causes complex changes in cartilage, due to its unique molecular composition and structural organization. Since cartilage is a thin layer of tissue (becoming thinner after loading), high resolution in imaging is critically important to gaining an understanding of the depth-dependent, orientation-dependent, and strain-dependent load-induced changes in articular cartilage. This chapter discusses the consequences of loading on nuclear magnetic resonance and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurements of cartilage, based on a number of MRI studies of compressed cartilage at microscopic resolutions. Specifically, the influences of tissue loading on the relaxation times (T1, T2, and T) in cartilage are discussed. The roles of MRI contrast agents (e.g. gadolinium) in the MRI of cartilage loading are illustrated with examples. A thorough understanding of the complex consequences of tissue loading, which often involve several competing factors in its mechanisms, will facilitate the development and validation of useful protocols for clinical diagnosis of early cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis and related joint diseases.

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16 Nov 2016
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From the book series:
New Developments in NMR