Correlation of the Histological ICRS II Score and the 3D MOCART Score for the Analysis of Aged Osteochondral Regenerates in a Large Animal Model

J. C. Schagemann, L. Galle, J. Gille, A. Frydrychowicz, G. Welsch, G. Salzmann, A. Paech, Hagen Mittelstaedt


OBJECTIVE: Reliable outcome measures are essential to predict the success of cartilage repair techniques. Histology is probably the gold standard, but magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has the potential to decrease the need for invasive histological biopsies. The 3D magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) score is a reliable yet elaborate tool. Moreover, literature is controversial concerning the correlation of histology and MRI. DESIGN: To test the applicability of the International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society (ICRS) II and MOCART 3D score for the evaluation of aged osteochondral regenerates in a large animal model, and to identify correlating histological and MRI parameters. Osteochondral defects in medial femoral condyles of n = 12 adult sheep were reconstructed with biodegradable bilayer implants. About 19.5 months postoperation, n = 10 joints were analyzed with MRI (3D MOCART score). Histological samples were analyzed using the ICRS II score; both pre- and post-training. The intraclass correlation coefficient, the inter-rater reliability, and the 95% confidence interval were calculated. Matching histological and MRI parameters were tested for correlation. RESULTS: We found a statistically significant correlation of all histological parameters. MRI parameters reflecting "overall" assessments had very strong inter-rater correlations. Statistically significant strong correlations were found for the MRI parameters defect filling, cartilage interface, bone interface, and surface. For defect overall (MRI) and overall assessment (ICRS II), we found a significant yet mild correlation. CONCLUSIONS: The ICRS II and the 3D MOCART score are applicable to aged osteochondral regenerates. Prior training on the scoring systems is essential. Select MRI and histological parameters correlate; however, the only statistically significant correlation was found for overall assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)19476035211072254
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2022


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