Jennifer Maier, Marianne Black, Serena Bonaretti, Bastian Bier, Bjoern Eskofier, Jang-Hwan Choi, Marc Levenston, Garry Gold, Rebecca Fahrig, Andreas Maier
July 28, 2017
Article number: 20170015
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease affecting bones and cartilage especially in the human knee. In this context, cartilage thickness is an indicator for knee cartilage health. Thickness measurements are performed on medical images acquired in-vivo . Currently, there is no standard method agreed upon that defines a distance measure in articular cartilage. In this work, we present a comparison of different methods commonly used in literature. These methods are based on nearest neighbors, surface normal vectors, local thickness and potential field lines. All approaches were applied to manual segmentations of tibia and lateral and medial tibial cartilage performed by experienced raters. The underlying data were contrast agent-enhanced cone-beam C-arm CT reconstructions of one healthy subject’s knee. The subject was scanned three times, once in supine position and two times in a standing weight-bearing position. A comparison of the resulting thickness maps shows similar distributions and high correlation coefficients between the approaches above 0.90. The nearest neighbor method results on average in the lowest cartilage thickness values, while the local thickness approach assigns the highest values. We showed that the different methods agree in their thickness distribution. The results will be used for a future evaluation of cartilage change under weight-bearing conditions.