Objective: To evaluate whether change in fixed-location measures of radiographic joint space width (JSW) and cartilage thickness by MRI predict knee replacement. Methods: Knees replaced between 36 and 60 months’ follow-up in the Osteoarthritis Initiative were each matched with one control by age, sex and radiographic status. Radiographic JSW was determined from fixed flexion radiographs and subregional femorotibial cartilage thickness from 3 T MRI. Changes between the annual visit before replacement (T0) and 2 years before T0 (T-2) were compared using conditional logistic regression. Results: One hundred and nineteen knees from 102 participants (55.5 % women; age 64.2 ± 8.7 [mean ± SD] years) were studied. Fixed-location JSW change at 22.5 % from medial to lateral differed more between replaced and control knees (case-control [cc] OR = 1.57; 95 % CI: 1.23–2.01) than minimum medial JSW change (ccOR = 1.38; 95 % CI: 1.11–1.71). Medial femorotibial cartilage loss displayed discrimination similar to minimum JSW, and central tibial cartilage loss similar to fixed-location JSW. Location-independent thinning and thickening scores were elevated prior to knee replacement. Conclusions: Discrimination of structural progression between knee pre-placement cases versus controls was stronger for fixed-location than minimum radiographic JSW. MRI displayed similar discrimination to radiography and suggested greater simultaneous cartilage thickening and loss prior to knee replacement. Key Points: • Fixed-location JSW predicts surgical knee replacement more strongly than minimum JSW. • MRI predicts knee replacement with similar accuracy to radiographic JSW. • MRI reveals greater cartilage thinning and thickening prior to knee replacement.
- Clinical validation
- Knee osteoarthritis
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Measurement performance
- Radiographic joint space width (JSW)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging