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New computational method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people

New computational simulation method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people over time

Date:
March 24, 2016
Source:
University of Eastern Finland
Summary:
Researchers have developed and validated a novel computational modelling method for the assessment of the patient-specific progression of osteoarthritis in the knee joint by using MRI data.
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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease in which the articular cartilage protecting the joint starts to degenerate and wear off over time. The main risk factors of osteoarthritis are advanced age and overweight-induced significant stresses on the knee joint. Current imaging methods such as MRI and X-ray provide information about the thickness and composition of the cartilage, but they do not provide a quantitative estimate of the patient-specific risk of osteoarthritis or its progression.

Published in Nature, a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland developed and validated a novel computational modelling method for the assessment of the patient-specific progression of osteoarthritis in the knee joint by using MRI data. The research group comprises researchers from the University of Eastern Finland and Lund University.

"The method we have developed is based on stresses experienced by the knee joint during walking, and these were simulated on a computer. Our idea was that walking-induced cumulative stresses that exceed a certain threshold will cause local degeneration in the articular cartilage of the knee," says Postdoctoral Researcher Mika Mononen from the University of Eastern Finland's Department of Applied Physics.

The patient-specific estimates of the progression of osteoarthritis obtained by computer modelling were validated against four-year follow-up data from X-ray measurements, in which the thickness of the articular cartilage in the knee was evaluated by using the Kellgren-Lawrence method. For the validation of the model, two patient groups were established: the normal weight group and the overweight group.

In the normal weight group, the thickness of healthy cartilage did not change over the four-year follow-up, whereas significant degeneration was observed in the overweight group.

"The study shows that this new method, which is based on computer modelling, was able to predict similar changes in the articular cartilage of the knee as experimental follow-up data," Mononen says.

In the future, the method can serve as a new tool for making patient-specific prognoses on the progression of osteoarthritis. Furthermore, the method can be used for assessing the patient-specific effects of overweight on the future health of the knee joint as well as the success of clinical treatment such as menisectomy, a widely used surgical procedure.


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Materials provided by University of Eastern Finland. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mika E. Mononen, Petri Tanska, Hanna Isaksson, Rami K. Korhonen. A Novel Method to Simulate the Progression of Collagen Degeneration of Cartilage in the Knee: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6: 21415 DOI: 10.1038/srep21415

Cite This Page:

University of Eastern Finland. "New computational method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people: New computational simulation method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people over time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160324104759.htm>.
University of Eastern Finland. (2016, March 24). New computational method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people: New computational simulation method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people over time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160324104759.htm
University of Eastern Finland. "New computational method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people: New computational simulation method reveals significant degeneration of knee cartilage in overweight people over time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160324104759.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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