Study finds, Delayed Gadolinium Enhanced Magnetic Resonance
Bone marrow lesions (BML) are associated with painful and progressive osteoarthritis (OA). The purpose of this study was to compare mean delayed gadolinium enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) relaxation values (T1Gd) in hips with BML to hips without BML in a population-based study. Reduced T1Gd indicates glycosaminoglycan depletion (GAG).

Study participants (n=128) were recruited from a cross-sectional population-based study of people aged 20-49 years with and without hip pain. dGEMRIC and proton density (PD)-weighted MRI scans of one hip from each participant were used for this analysis. BMLs were identified from PD-weighted fat-suppressed images. A sampling-weighted linear regression model was applied to determine the association of the presence of BMLs with mean cartilage T1Gd. The model was adjusted for age, sex, BMI, hip pain, cam/pincer deformity and physical activity.

--32 of the 128 participants had at least one BML.

--Subjects with at least one BML, compared to those without, had similar weighted characteristics of age, BMI, physical activity levels, and frequency of hip pain.

--Mean T1Gd was 75.25ms lower (9%) in the BML compared to the no-BML group.

This data imply, ultimately, that early in the OA disease process hips with BML are associated with deterioration of the hip cartilage.