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The relationship between meniscal pathology and osteoarthritis depends on the type of meniscal damage visible on magnetic resonance images: data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 21:43 authored by Benny Eathakkattu AntonyBenny Eathakkattu Antony, Driban, JB, Price, LL, Lo, GH, Ward, RJ, Nevitt, M, Lynch, J, Eaton, CB, Chang-Hai DingChang-Hai Ding, McAlindon, TE

Objective: To determine the association of different types of meniscal pathology with common measures of osteoarthritis severity and progression: knee pain, bone marrow lesion (BML) volume, and end-stage knee osteoarthritis (esKOA).

Design: Participants were selected from an ancillary project to the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) who had at least one knee with symptomatic osteoarthritis. Baseline magnetic resonance images (MRI) were evaluated for meniscal pathology using a modified International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery, and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS) classification system. We collapsed 10 types of meniscal pathology into 5 categories: normal, intrameniscal signal, morphological deformity/extrusion (altered meniscal shape and/or extrusion but no apparent substance loss), tear, and maceration. Outcomes included WOMAC knee pain and BML volume at baseline and after 2-years. We defined the prevalence of esKOA based on a validated algorithm. We performed logistic regression and adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index (BMI).

Results: The 463 participants (53% male) included in the analysis had mean age 63 (9.2) years, BMI 29.6 (4.6) kg/m2, and 71% had Kellgren–Lawrence grade ≥2. Morphological deformity/extrusion and maceration, but no other types of meniscal pathology, were associated with BML volume (morphological deformity/extrusion odds ratio [OR] = 2.47, 95% CI: 1.49, 4.09, maceration OR = 5.85, 95% CI: 3.40, 10.06) and change in BML volume (morphological deformity/extrusion OR = 2.17, 95% CI: 1.37, 3.45, maceration OR = 3.12, 95% CI: 1.87, 5.19). Only maceration was associated with baseline WOMAC knee pain (OR = 2.82, 95% CI: 1.79, 4.43) and prevalence of esKOA (OR = 7.53, 95% CI: 4.25, 13.31).

Conclusions: Based on MRI, morphologic deformity/extrusion and maceration rather than intrameniscal signal or tear were associated with osteoarthritis severity and progression, which highlights the importance of differentiating distinct types of meniscal pathology.


Publication title

Osteoarthritis and Cartilage








Menzies Institute for Medical Research


W B Saunders Co Ltd

Place of publication

32 Jamestown Rd, London, England, Nw1 7By

Rights statement

Copyright 2016 Osteoarthritis Research Society International

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Clinical health not elsewhere classified

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