OBJECTIVES: To investigate the association between pain and peripatellar-synovitis on static and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI in knee osteoarthritis.
METHODS: In a cross-sectional setting, knee synovitis was assessed using 3-Tesla MRI and correlated with pain using the knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS). Synovitis was assessed in the peripatellar recesses with: (i) dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI, using both pharmacokinetic and heuristic models, (ii) contrast-enhanced (CE)-MRI, and (iii) non-CE-MRI. The DCE-MRI variable IRExNvoxel was chosen as the primary variable in the analyses.
RESULTS: Valid data were available in 94 persons with a mean age of 65 years, a BMI of 32.3kg/m(2) and a mean Kellgren-Lawrence grade of 2.5. IRExNvoxel showed a statically significant correlation with KOOS-Pain (r=-0.34; p=0.001), as was the case with all DCE-variables but one. Correlations between static MRI-variables and KOOS-Pain ranged between -0.21<r<-0.29 (p<0.040). Intraclass correlation coefficients ranged between 0.90-0.99 for the heuristic and 0.66-0.93 for the pharmacokinetic DCE-MRI variables.
CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm an association between peripatellar-synovitis and pain in KOA. Overall, DCE-MRI showed stronger correlations with KOOS-Pain compared to static MRI. DCE-MRI analyses were highly reproducible and have the potential to be used to further investigate the role of inflammation and perfusion in KOA.