Sensitivity to change and association of three-dimensional meniscal measures with radiographic joint space width loss in rapid clinical progression of knee osteoarthritis

Melanie Roth, Katja Emmanuel, Wolfgang Wirth, C. Kent Kwoh, David J. Hunter, Felix Eckstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether 3D meniscal measures had similar sensitivity to longitudinal change as cartilage thickness; to what extent these measures are associated with longitudinal joint space width (JSW) change; and whether the latter associations differ between minimum (mJSW) and fixed-location JSW. Methods: Two-year changes in medial meniscal position and morphology, cartilage thickness (MRI) and minimum and fixed-location JSW (radiography) were determined in 35 Osteoarthritis Initiative knees [12 men, age: 67 (51-77) years; 23 women, age: 65 (54-78) years], progressing from baseline Kellgren-Lawrence grade ≤2 to knee replacement within 3-5 years. Multiple linear regression assessed the features contributing to JSW change. Results: Meniscal measures, cartilage thickness and JSW displayed similar sensitivity to change (standardised response mean≤|0.76|). Meniscal changes were strongly associated with JSW change (r≤|0.66|), adding ≤20% to its variance in addition to cartilage thickness change. Fixed-location JSW change (multiple r2=72%) was more strongly related to cartilage and meniscal change than mJSW (61%). Meniscal morphology explained more of fixed-location JSW and meniscal position more of mJSW. Conclusion: Meniscal measures provide independent information in explaining the variance of radiographic JSW change. Fixed-location JSW appears to be more reflective of structural change than mJSW and, hence, a potentially superior measure of structural progression. Key Points: • 3D positional/morphological meniscal measures change in rapidly progressing knees. • Similar sensitivity to 2-year change of quantitative meniscal/cartilage measures in rapid progression. • Changes in meniscal measures are strongly associated with radiographic JSW change. • Meniscal change provides information to explain JSW variance independent of cartilage. • Fixed-location JSW reflects structural disease stage more closely than minimum JSW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1844-1853
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2018



  • Cartilage thickness
  • Joint space width
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Meniscus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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