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Spatial links between subchondral bone architectural features and cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritic joints

Ajami, Sara; Javaheri, B; Chang, YM; Maruthainar, N; Khan, T; Donaldson, James; Pitsillides, Andrew; (2022) Spatial links between subchondral bone architectural features and cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritic joints. Scientific Reports , 12 , Article 6694. 10.1038/s41598-022-10600-6. Green open access

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Abstract

Early diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA), before the onset of irreversible changes is crucial for understanding the disease process and identifying potential disease-modifying treatments from the earliest stage. OA is a whole joint disease and affects both cartilage and the underlying subchondral bone. However, spatial relationships between cartilage lesion severity (CLS) and microstructural changes in subchondral plate and trabecular bone remain elusive. Herein, we collected femoral heads from hip arthroplasty for primary osteoarthritis (n = 7) and femoral neck fracture (n = 6; non-OA controls) cases. Samples were regionally assessed for cartilage lesions by visual inspection using Outerbridge classification and entire femoral heads were micro-CT scanned. Scans of each femoral head were divided into 4 quadrants followed by morphometric analysis of subchondral plate and trabecular bone in each quadrant. Principal component analysis (PCA), a data reduction method, was employed to assess differences between OA and non-OA samples, and spatial relationship between CLS and subchondral bone changes. Mapping of the trabecular bone microstructure in OA patients with low CLS revealed trabecular organisation resembling non-OA patients, whereas clear differences were identifiable in subchondral plate architecture. The OA-related changes in subchondral plate architecture were summarised in the first principle component (PC1) which correlated with CLS in all quadrants, whilst by comparison such associations in trabecular bone were most prominent in the higher weight-bearing regions of the femoral head. Greater articular cartilage deterioration in OA was regionally-linked with lower BV/TV, TMD and thickness, and greater BS/BV and porosity in the subchondral plate; and with thinner, less separated trabeculae with greater TMD and BS/BV in the trabecular bone. Our findings suggest that impairment of subchondral bone microstructure in early stage of OA is more readily discernible in the cortical plate and that morphological characterisation of the femoral head bone microstructure may allow for earlier OA diagnosis and monitoring of progression.

Type: Article
Title: Spatial links between subchondral bone architectural features and cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritic joints
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-10600-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-10600-6
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 Springer Nature Limited. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Bone, Cartilage, Osteoarthritis
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Ortho and MSK Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10147302
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