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Preoperative T2 mapping MRI of articular cartilage values predicts postoperative osteoarthritis progression following rotational acetabular osteotomy

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Rotational acetabular osteotomy (RAO) has been reported to be effective in improving symptoms and preventing osteoarthritis (OA) progression in patients with mild to severe develomental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). However, some patients develop secondary OA even when the preoperative joint space is normal; determining who will progress to OA is difficult. We evaluated whether the preoperative cartilage condition may predict OA progression following surgery using T2 mapping MRI.


We reviewed 61 hips with early-stage OA in 61 patients who underwent RAO for DDH. They underwent preoperative and five-year postoperative radiological analysis of the hip. Those with a joint space narrowing of more than 1 mm were considered to have 'OA progression'. Preoperative assessment of articular cartilage was also performed using 3T MRI with the T2 mapping technique. The region of interest was defined as the weightbearing portion of the acetabulum and femoral head.


There were 16 patients with postoperative OA progression. The T2 values of the centre to the anterolateral region of the acetabulum and femoral head in the OA progression cases were significantly higher than those in patients without OA progression. The preoperative T2 values in those regions were positively correlated with the narrowed joint space width. The receiver operating characteristic analysis revealed that the T2 value of the central portion in the acetabulum provided excellent discrimination, with OA progression patients having an area under the curve of 0.858. Furthermore, logistic regression analysis showed T2 values of the centre to the acetabulum’s anterolateral portion as independent predictors of subsequent OA progression (p < 0.001).


This was the first study to evaluate the relationship between intra-articular degeneration using T2 mapping MRI and postoperative OA progression. Our findings suggest that preoperative T2 values of the hip can be better prognostic factors for OA progression than radiological measures following RAO.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(9):1472–1478.

Correspondence should be sent to Takeshi Shoji. E-mail:

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