Multicomponent T2 relaxation analysis in cartilage

David A. Reiter, Ping Chang Lin, Kenneth W. Fishbein, Richard G. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


MR techniques are sensitive to the early stages of osteoarthritis, characterized by disruption of collagen and loss of proteoglycan (PG), but are of limited specificity. Here, water compartments in normal and trypsin-degraded bovine nasal cartilage were identified using a nonnegative least squares rmultiexponential analysis of T2 relaxation. Three components were detected: T2,1 = 2, 3 ms, T2,2 = 25.2 ms, and T 2,3 = 96.3 ms, with fractions w1 = 8.2%, w2 = 14.5%, and w3 = 79.3%, respectively. Trypsinization resulted in increased (P < 0.01) values of T2,2 = 64.2 ms and T2,3 = 149.4 ms, supporting their assignment to water compartments that are bound and loosely associated with PG, respectively. The T2 of the rapidly relaxing component was not altered by digestion, supporting assignment to relatively immobile collagen-bound water. Relaxation data were simulated for a range of TE, number of echoes, and SNR to guide selection of acquisition parameters and assess the accuracy and precision of experimental results. Based on this, the expected experimental accuracy of measured T2s and associated weights was within 2% and 4% respectively, with precision within 1 % and 3%. These results demonstrate the potential of multiexponential T 2 analysis to increase the specificity of MR characterization of cartilage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-809
Number of pages7
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cartilage
  • Macromolecular compartments
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Spin-spin relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Multicomponent T2 relaxation analysis in cartilage'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this