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MRI Cartigram

Services / Radiology / MRI Cartigram

Needle-Free Cartilage Assessment

CartiGram is a non-invasive MRI method to assess articular cartilage integrity. This powerful diagnostic tool provides objective information of the cartilage ultrastructure and allows clinicians to visualize collagen fiber degradation without gadolinium injection. When collagen breaks down; there is increased mobility of water in the cartilage, detected by MRI. CartiGram color mapping shows subtle changes in cartilage composition not visible on gray-scale MR images, and often at earlier stages.

What is MRI Knee Cartigram?

The Magnetic Resonance imaging (MRI) scan test uses strong magnetic and radio waves to create detailed and clear 3D images. The MRI Knee Cartigram is a radiation less test which creates images of the cartilage of the knee. These images can be stored on an electronic device which can be printed on a film. The complete procedure takes about 40-60 minutes.

MRI method to assess articular cartilage integrity

The application enables clinicians to non-invasively visualize collagen fiber degradation.

When collagen breaks down, due to osteoarthritis for example, there is increased mobility of water in the cartilage and therefore a prolongation in T2 relaxation times. CartiGram is designed to automatically generate color-maps based on a scale of T2 values. The color-map is a tool that allows physicians to see changes in the composition of articular cartilage in some cases before changes in the thickness can be seen.

CartiGram is generally used to detect changes in cartilage composition at earlier stages. By non-invasively monitoring the progression of changes in cartilage composition doctors can optimize the timing of surgical procedures and the response to surgical intervention.

What is T2 mapping?

T2 mapping is a magnetic resonance imaging technique used to calculate the T2 times of a certain tissue and display them voxel-vice on a parametric map. It has been used for tissue characterization of the myocardium and has been investigated for cartilage and other tissues.

What is T1 T2 in MRI?

The most common MRI sequences are T1-weighted and T2-weighted scans. T1-weighted images are produced by using short TE and TR times. Conversely, T2-weighted images are produced by using longer TE and TR times. In these images, the contrast and brightness are predominately determined by the T2 properties of tissue.

Preparation (Before)

  • For the preparation for an MRI Scan, the doctor may want to know if you are allergic to anything, are pregnant, allergic to any medicines and would like to know about your normal health condition. Doctors should also be informed if there are any metal plates or other implantations in your body, if you have had any previous surgeries or operations, or if you wear any medical patches etc. You may want to arrange someone to drive you home after the MRI Scan as the sedative given may need you to relax.
  • Different MRI Scans need different kinds of guidelines and preparations. For example, for the MRI Scan of the abdomen and pelvic area, doctors may ask you not to drink or eat for several hours before the test.
  • A special dye which is known as contrast material is required for MRI Scans which help to highlight the body parts or organs which will be going under scan. What this material does is that it helps in blocking the x rays and comes as white in the images obtained. This white color can help emphasize on the organs or vessels.


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