Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2011

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Brown, Thomas D

Second Advisor

Pedersen, Douglas R

First Committee Member

Reinhardt, Joseph M

Second Committee Member

Thedens, Daniel R


T1rho MRI, spin-lattice relaxation in the rotating frame, is postulated to be sensitive to early biochemical changes within articular cartilage that may lead to osteoarthritis. This means that it has potential as a non-invasive, early biomarker for disease progression. However, T1rho has been primarily studied in a research setting. Therefore, the main question posed in this work is:

Can T1rho MRI be used in an at-risk population (ACL-rupture patients) and translated to a clinical setting?

To answer this question, two tools (Relaxometry program, Line Profile Analysis) were created and validated for measuring T1rho within living subjects. These tools were used to answer the following sub-questions:

1) Is there a quantifiable difference between healthy (normal subject)and injured cartilage (ACL-rupture patient) in living subjects?

2) Is there some measure which can be tracked over time and used as a meaningful pre-screening procedure for post-traumatic osteoarthritis development at 3.0T MRI?

3) Is it possible to obtain the same or similar quality data from 1.5T T1rho (predominant MRI field strength found in clinics) as found from 3.0T T1rho images?

These questions were answered affirmatively, and the author concludes that T1rho could be translated and applied into a clinical setting across the nation.


ACL-rupture, Clinical Translation, Imaging, MRI, Osteoarthritis, T1rho


xii, 130 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 123-130).


Copyright 2011 Noelle Klocke