Meniscal Tear as an Osteoarthritis Risk Factor in a Largely Non-Osteoarthritic Cohort: A Cross-Sectional Study
Ding, C and Martel-Pelletier, J and Pelletier, JP and Abram, F and Raynauld, JP and Cicuttini, F and Jones, G, Meniscal Tear as an Osteoarthritis Risk Factor in a Largely Non-Osteoarthritic Cohort: A Cross-Sectional Study, Journal of Rheumatology, 34, (4) pp. 776-784. ISSN 0315-162X (2007) [Refereed Article]
Objective. To examine the associations between meniscal tear, knee structure, osteoarthritis (OA) risk factors, radiographic change, and symptoms in a largely non-osteoarthritic cohort. Methods. This cross-sectional study included 294 subjects with mean age 47 (SD 6) years, body mass index (BMI) 28 (SD 5), and 58% were female. Meniscal tear, knee cartilage defect score, quantitative tibial and femoral cartilage volume, and tibial plateau bone area were determined using T1-weighted fat saturated magnetic resonance images. Results. In multivariable analysis, prevalence of meniscal tear was significantly associated with age (OR 1.06 to 1.12/year, all p < 0.05), BMI (OR 1.06 to 1.11/kg/m2, all p < 0.05 with the exception of the lateral anterior horn), sex (women vs men: OR 4.14 to 4.23, p < 0.01 at the medial and lateral meniscal body site), and family history of OA (OR 1.97 to 2.01, p < 0.05 at the lateral meniscal anterior and posterior horns). Meniscal tear was associated with a higher tibiofemoral cartilage defect score at lateral body and all medial sites, lower tibial and femoral cartilage volume at the lateral compartment, markedly higher prevalent radiographic OA at medial compartment, and greater tibial bone area. Moreover, meniscal tear at the lateral posterior and anterior horns was significantly associated with WOMAC pain, stiffness, and function scores. Conclusion. Meniscal tear at specific sites shares risk factors with knee OA. Importantly, meniscal tear is associated with cartilage defect, loss of cartilage volume, alteration in bone size, and prevalence of radiographic OA, suggesting that meniscal tear in non-OA subjects appears to be an early event in the disease process, and may be a risk factor for knee cartilage damage and articular structural changes.