Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Cartilage Change Noted Prior to Accelerated KOA

Clin Anat; ePub 2018 Dec 6; Harkey, et al

Results from a recent study provide preliminary evidence of a different spatial pattern of cartilage change between individuals that will develop accelerated vs typical knee osteoarthritis (KOA). These data suggest there may be different mechanisms driving the early structural disease progression between accelerated vs typical KOA. Researchers conducted a longitudinal case‐control analysis of 129 individuals from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. They assessed the percent change in tibiofemoral cartilage on magnetic resonance images (MRI) at 36 informative locations from 2 to 1 year prior to the development of accelerated (n=44) vs typical KOA (n=40). Cartilage change was defined in the accelerated and typical KOA groups at 36 informative locations based on thresholds of cartilage percent change in a no KOA group (n=45). They found:

  • There was a non‐significant trend that individuals with diffuse tibiofemoral cartilage change were 2.2 times more likely to develop accelerated KOA when compared to individuals who develop typical KOA.
  • Adults with accelerated or typical KOA demonstrate heterogeneity in spatial distribution of cartilage thinning and thickening.


Harkey MS, Davis JE, Lu B, et al. Diffuse tibiofemoral cartilage change prior to the development of accelerated knee osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. [Published online ahead of print December 6, 2018]. Clin Anat. doi:10.1002/ca.23321.