Clinical and Pathophysiologic Significance of MRI Identified Bone Marrow Lesions Associated with Knee Osteoarthritis

Document Type: CURRENT CONCEPTS REVIEW

Authors

1 Oliashirazi Institute, Marshall University, Huntington USA

2 Oliashirazi Institute, Marshall University, Huntington, USA

3 Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadephia, PA, USA

4 Medcare Orthopedics and Spine Hospital, Dubai, UAE

5 Cooper Bone and Joint Institute at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ, USA Oliashirazi Institute at Marshall University, Huntington, WV, USA Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Abstract

Knee osteoarthritis (OA) affects the joint beyond just the articular cartilage. Specifically, magnetic resonance imagingidentified
bone marrow lesions (BML) in the subchondral bone have both clinical and pathophysiological significance.
Compared to joint space narrowing on traditional radiographs, the presence of BMLs has been better correlated with
severity of clinical symptoms as well as clinical deterioration. Presence of a BML increases the likelihood for progression
to a total knee arthroplasty by up to nine fold. Histochemical analysis of BMLs has shown increased levels of tumor
necrosis factor-alpha, matrix metalloproteinases and substance P, thought to stimulate pain receptors in osteoarthritis.

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