A Dual Contrast Method for Computed Tomography Diagnostics of Cartilage Injuries
Saukko, Annina Erika Askontytär
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The diagnostics of fresh cartilage injuries in the early-state is important for the prevention of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). Contrast enhanced computed tomography (CECT) enables the detection of fresh cartilage injuries. However, it requires two images first one immediately after the contrast agent administration into synovial fluid and second one 45 minutes after the administration. The first image allows the accurate segmentation of the cartilage surface since contrast agent diffusion diminishes the contrast at the cartilage-synovial fluid interface soon after contrast agent administration. Delayed imaging, at 45 minutes after the administration, enables the detection of cartilage injuries and degenerations as elevated contrast agent concentration at injured or degenerated tissue. Performing two scheduled imaging is logistically challenging and it doubles the patient exposure to the radiation. Therefore, in this thesis we develop a dual contrast method that will allow the diagnostics of fresh cartilage injuries and degeneration of the surrounding tissue conducting only one image 45 minutes after dual contrast agent administration. As a result, this method will enhance the CECT diagnostics of fresh cartilage injuries among with other joint diseases, thus leading to better repair and prevention of PTOA.