Comparison of high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging and micro-computed tomography arthrography for in-vivo assessment of cartilage in non-human primate models
Quantitative Imaging in Medicine and Surgery
Non-human primate (NHP) could be an interesting model for osteoarthritis (OA) longitudinal studies but standard medical imaging protocols are not able to acquire sufficiently highresolution images to depict the thinner cartilage (compared to human) in an in vivo context. The aim of this study was thus to develop and validate the acquisition protocols for knee joint examination of NHP using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 1.5 T and X-ray micro-computed tomography arthrography (µCTA).
... phy (µCTA). Methods: The first phase of the study focused on developing dedicated in vivo HR-MRI and µCTA protocols for simultaneous acquisitions of both knee joints on NHP. For MR, a dedicated two-channel receiver array coil and acquisition sequence were developed on a 1.5 T Siemens Sonata system and tuned to respect safety issues and reasonable examination time. For µCTA, an experimental setup was devised so as to fulfill similar requirements. The two imaging protocols were used during a longitudinal study so as to confirm that repeated injections of loxaglic acid (contrast agent used for µCTA) didn't induce any bias in cartilage assessment and to compare segmentation results from the two modalities. Lateral and medial cartilage tibial plateaus were assessed using a common image processing protocol leading to a 3D estimation of the cartilage thickness. Results: From HR-MRI and µCTA images, thickness distributions were extracted allowing for proper evaluation of knee cartilage thickness of the primates. Results obtained in vivo indicated that the µCTA protocol did not induce any bias in the measured cartilage parameters and moreover, segmentation results obtained from the two imaging modalities were consistent. Conclusions: MR and µCTA are valuable imaging tools for the morphological evaluation of cartilage in NHP models which in turn can be used for OA studies.