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Relationship of Knee Abnormalities, Activity Studied

Osteoarthritis Initiative study links physical activity with knee lesions, higher patellar T2 values

FRIDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged, asymptomatic individuals at risk of knee osteoarthritis commonly have cartilage and meniscus lesions, particularly if they are physically active, with patellar cartilage T2 values significantly correlated with the severity and grade of such lesions, according to a study in the February issue of Radiology.

Christoph Stehling, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues obtained knee radiographs and performed 3.0-T knee magnetic resonance imaging in 120 middle-aged (45 to 55 years old) asymptomatic individuals at risk of knee osteoarthritis.

The researchers found that cartilage lesions were present in 79 percent of knees, and meniscal lesions were present in 45 percent of knees. Patellar cartilage T2 values were significantly correlated with the severity and grade of cartilage and meniscus lesions. High levels of physical activity were associated with significantly more cartilage and meniscus abnormalities, higher-grade abnormalities, and higher T2 values.

"Our results indicate that T2 relaxation time at the patella may be a marker for internal joint derangement in terms of cartilage and meniscal lesions," Stehling and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, Merck Research Laboratories, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.

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