High-Frequency Ultrasound Imaging of Tidemark In Vitro in Advanced Knee Osteoarthritis

Yan Ping Huang, Jin Zhong, Jie Chen, Chun Hoi Yan, Yongping Zheng, Chun Yi Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


High-frequency ultrasound imaging has been widely adopted for assessment of the degenerative changes of articular cartilage in osteoarthritis (OA). Yet, there are few reports on investigating its capability to evaluate subchondral bone. Here, we employed high-frequency ultrasound imaging (25 MHz) to examine in vitro the tidemark in cylindrical osteochondral disks (n = 33) harvested from advanced OA knees of humans. We found good correspondence in morphology observed by ultrasound imaging and micro-computed tomography. Ultrasound roughness index (URI) of tidemark was derived from the raw radiofrequency signals to compare with bone quality factors, including bone volume fraction (BV/TV) and bone mineral density (BMD) measured by micro-computed tomography, using the Spearman correlation (ρ). URI of the tidemark was negatively associated with the subchondral plate BV/TV (ρ = −0.73, p < 0.001), BMD (ρ = −0.40, p = 0.020), as well as the underneath trabecular bone BV/TV (ρ = −0.39, p = 0.025) and BMD (ρ = −0.43, p = 0.012). In conclusion, this preliminary study demonstrated that morphology measured by high-frequency ultrasound imaging could reflect the quality of the subchondral bone. High-frequency ultrasound is a promising imaging tool to evaluate the changes of the subchondral bone in addition to those of the overlying cartilage in OA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Articular cartilage
  • High-frequency ultrasound
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Roughness
  • Subchondral bone
  • Tidemark

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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