Computer-assisted Joint Space Area Measurement: A New Technique in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis
İlker İLHANLI1, Necip GÜDER2, Alptekin TOSUN3, Esin AVCI4, Canan ÇELİK1
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical Faculty of Giresun University, Giresun, Turkey
2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation State Hospital, Giresun, Turkey
3Department of Radiology, Medical Faculty of Giresun University, Giresun, Turkey
4Department of Statistics, Medical Faculty of Giresun University, Giresun, Turkey
Keywords: Knee; magnetic resonance imaging; osteoarthritis; roentgenogram
Objectives: This study aims to assess the validity and reproducibility of computer-assisted joint space area measurement in knee roentgenograms of patients with knee osteoarthritis and compare it with a qualitative method in knee roentgenograms and quantitative and semi-quantitative methods in magnetic resonance imaging.
Patients and methods: The study included 40 knees of 40 patients diagnosed as osteoarthritis (14 males, 26 females; mean age 57.4±5.9 years; range 47 to 67 years). Only the patients who wrote consents for publication of their radiologic data, and with knee roentgenograms and magnetic resonance images of the same knees were selected. Computer-assisted measurements were applied to joint spaces by two blinded physicians, for two times with an interval of one week. Data were evaluated for intraobserver and interobserver consistency. Also, data were compared with qualitative (Kellgren-Lawrence classification), quantitative (joint space width, cartilage thickness, meniscal thickness in magnetic resonance images) and semi-quantitative methods (whole-organ magnetic resonance imaging score).
Results: Intraobserver consistency was evaluated for each physician, which revealed no differences. Interobserver consistency was evaluated by comparing the measurements of two blinded physicians and no differences were found (p>0.05). There was no significant correlation between the grade of Kellgren-Lawrence classification and other variables; such as grade of meniscus, meniscal thickness, cartilage thickness and computer- assisted joint space area measurements (p>0.05). While there was a positive correlation between computer-assisted joint space area measurement and other quantitative measurements, there was a negative correlation between computer-assisted joint space area measurement and whole-organ magnetic resonance imaging scores.
Conclusion: When compared with qualitative, quantitative, and semi-quantitative methods, computer-assisted joint space area measurement seems to be a useful, reproducible, and cost-effective quantitative method for evaluating knee osteoarthritis.
The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.
The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.