Reliability and sensitivity to change of IW-TSE versus DESS magnetic resonance imaging sequences in the assessment of bone marrow lesions in knee osteoarthritis patients: Longitudinal data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) cohort
Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering
Bone marrow lesions (BMLs) are associated with osteoarthritis (OA). We assessed the performance of two commonly used MRI sequences, IW-TSE and DESS, for reliability in the detection of BMLs and sensitivity to estimate change over time. We suggested that the IW-TSE would demonstrate higher sensitivity to change than DESS in the assessment of BML prevalence and change over time. This study was performed using a subset of the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) cohort. Methods: A subgroup of 144
... bgroup of 144 patients was selected from the OAI progression cohort who all had IW-TSE and DESS MRI acquisitions at baseline and 24 months. BMLs were assessed using a semi-quantitative scale in the global knee, medial and lateral compartments, and subregions. Intra-reader reliability was assessed on a subset of 51 patients. Results: Intra-reader reliability was substantial for the global knee ≥ 0.64, medial ≥ 0.70, and lateral ≥ 0.63 compartments for IW-TSE and DESS. The prevalence of BML detected at baseline was only slightly greater for IW-TSE compared to DESS. The mean BML score at baseline was significantly higher (p ≤ 0.006) for the IW-TSE than the DESS. However, mean change at 24 months was similar for both sequences for all regions except the medial compartment (p = 0.034) and medial femur (p = 0.015) where they were significantly higher for DESS than IW-TSE. Moreover, the prevalence of BML change at 24 months was similar in all regions except the global knee (p = 0.047) and the lateral tibial plateau (p = 0.031). Conclusion: This study does not suggest superior sensitivity to change of one sequence over the other for almost all the regions. The only difference is a higher BML mean change over time detected by the DESS sequence in the medial compartment and femur. These data bring into perspective that both sequences seem equivalent regarding their use for the assessment of BML in clinical trials.