Short-term repeatability of joint space width measurements using a magnetic resonance imaging compatible knee positioning device

M. F. Koff, D. W. Stanley, P. J. Weishaar, K. K. Amrami, K. R. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) compatible knee positioning device to aid in minimizing intratechnologist and intertechnologist differences of minimum joint space width (JSW) measurements. Five subjects were scanned by two separate technologists, with and without an MRI-compatible positioning device. A semi-automated program calculated the minimum JSW of the tibiofemoral and patellofemoral joints. The scan-to-scan repeatability was evaluated from measurements between serial scans without subject repositioning, and the intratechnologist and intertechnologist repeatabilities were evaluated when the subject was removed from the magnet and repositioned by an individual technologist. The root mean square (RMS) error of the JSW measurements was also calculated. All measures of scan-to-scan repeatability and intratechnologist repeatability were unchanged with the MRI-compatible positioning device. The intertechnologist repeatability decreased from 0.70 to 0.42mm, and the RMS error was significantly reduced (PŠ0.0006) from 0.26 to 0.15mm for the tibiofemoral joint. The variability of patellofemoral JSW measurements increased when using the positioning device; however, the increases were not statistically significant. The intertechnologist repeatability increased from 1.55 to 1.79mm, and the RMS error increased from 0.58 to 0.73mm. The MRI-compatible positioning device was successful at reducing JSW measurement variability at the tibiofemoral joint. The increase in measurement variability at the patellofemoral joint may be due to local incongruities of the articular surfaces. An MRI-compatible positioning device may be beneficial for quantitative longitudinal studies evaluating knee joint health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1061-1071
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part H: Journal of Engineering in Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


  • equipment and supplies
  • knee
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering


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