Combination of optical coherence tomography and near infrared spectroscopy enhances determination of articular cartilage composition and structure
OPEN Scientific reports | 8 Sep 2017
JK Sarin, L Rieppo, H Brommer, IO Afara, S Saarakkala and J Töyräs
Conventional arthroscopic evaluation of articular cartilage is subjective and poorly reproducible. Therefore, implementation of quantitative diagnostic techniques, such as near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and optical coherence tomography (OCT), is essential. Locations (n = 44) with various cartilage conditions were selected from mature equine fetlock joints (n = 5). These locations and their surroundings were measured with NIRS and OCT (n = 530). As a reference, cartilage proteoglycan (PG) and collagen contents, and collagen network organization were determined using quantitative microscopy. Additionally, lesion severity visualized in OCT images was graded with an automatic algorithm according to International Cartilage Research Society (ICRS) scoring system. Artificial neural network with variable selection was then employed to predict cartilage composition in the superficial and deep zones from NIRS data, and the performance of two models, generalized (including all samples) and condition-specific models (based on ICRS-grades), was compared. Spectral data correlated significantly (p < 0.002) with PG and collagen contents, and collagen orientation in the superficial and deep zones. The combination of NIRS and OCT provided the most reliable outcome, with condition-specific models having lower prediction errors (9.2%) compared to generalized models (10.4%). Therefore, the results highlight the potential of combining both modalities for comprehensive evaluation of cartilage during arthroscopy.
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