Precision of hyaline cartilage thickness measurements

K. Jonsson, K. Buckwalter, M. Helvie, L. Niklason, W. Martel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Measurement of cartilage thickness in vivo is an important indicator of the status of a joint as the various degenerative and inflammatory arthritides directly affect the condition of the cartilage. In order to assess the precision of thickness measurements of hyaline articular cartilage, we undertook a pilot study using MR imaging, plain radiography, and ultrasonography (US). We measured the cartilage of the hip and knee joints in 10 persons (4 healthy volunteers and 6 patients). The joints in each patient were examined on two separate occasions using each modality. In the hips as well as the knee joints, the most precise measuring method was plain film radiography. For radiographs of the knees obtained in the standing position, the coefficient of variation was 6.5%; in the hips this figure was 6.34%. US of the knees and MR imaging of the hips were the second best modalities in the measurement of cartilage thickness. In addition, MR imaging enabled the most complete visualization of the joint cartilage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-239
Number of pages6
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1992


  • Hip, radiography
  • MR studies; cartilage
  • MR studies; knee
  • US studies
  • US studies
  • radiographs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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