Objective Design and validation of an MR-based method that allows the calculation of the water content in cartilage tissue. Material and Methods We modified and adapted to cartilage tissue T1 map based water content MR sequences commonly used in the neurology field. Using a 37 Celsius degree stable system (the closest to the body temperature) we measured, using the modified MR sequences, the T1 map intensity signal on 6 cartilage samples from living animals (pig) and on 8 gelatin samples which water content was already known. For the data analysis a T1 intensity signal map software analyzer was costumed and programmed. Finally, we validated the method after measuring and comparing 3 more cartilage samples in a living animal (pig). The obtained data was analyzed and the water content calculated. Then, the same samples were freeze-dried (this technique allows to take out all the water that a tissue contains) and we measured the water they contained. Results We could reproduce twice the 37 Celsius degree system and could perform the measurements in a similar way. We found that the MR T1 map based water content sequences can provide information that, after being analyzed with a special software, can be interpreted as the water contained inside a cartilage tissue. The amount of water estimated using this method was similar to the one obtained at the dry-freeze procedure. Conclusions MR images obtained using T1 map based water content sequences provide information that can be analyzed to calculate the amount of water contained inside a cartilage tissue. This represents a non-invasive procedure that can provide information about inflammation or edema in cartilage and cartilage-like (e.g. Growth plate) tissue.
Magnetic Resonance, Water Content, Cartilage, MR, Functional MR