Background: While MRI can provide a detailed morphological evaluation after articular cartilage repair, its additional value in determining clinical outcome has yet to be determined. Purpose: To evaluate the correlation between MRI and clinical outcome after cartilage repair and to identify parameters that are most important in determining clinical outcome. Study Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: A systematic search was performed in Embase, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Collaboration. Articles were screened for relevance and appraised for quality. Guidelines in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) Statement were used. Chi-square tests were performed to find variables that could determine correlation between clinical and radiological parameters. Results: A total of 32 articles (total number of patients, 1019) were included. A majority (81%) were case series or cohort studies that used similar standardized MRI techniques. The mean Coleman score was 63 (range, 42-96). For the majority of MRI parameters, limited or no correlation was found. Nine studies (28%) found a correlation between clinical outcome and the composite magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) or Henderson score and 7 (22%) with defect fill. In 5 studies, a weak to moderate correlation was found between clinical outcome and the T2 index (mean Pearson coefficient r = .53). Conclusion: Strong evidence to determine whether morphological MRI is reliable in predicting clinical outcome after cartilage repair is lacking. Future research aiming specifically at clinical sensitivity of advanced morphological and biochemical MRI techniques after articular cartilage repair could be of great importance to the field.
de Windt, T. S., Welsch, G. H., Brittberg, M., Vonk, L. A., Marlovits, S., Trattnig, S., & Saris, D. B. F. (2013). Is magnetic resonance imaging reliable in predicting clinical outcome after articular cartilage repair of the knee? American journal of sports medicine, 41(7), 1695-1702. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546512473258