Post-Run T2 Mapping Changes in Knees of Adolescent Basketball Players

Yigal Chechik*, Eran Beit Ner, Oleg Lysyy, Sigal Tal, Neta Stern, Gabriel Agar, Yiftach Beer, Noam Ben-Eliezer, Dror Lindner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: While articular cartilage defects are common incidental findings among adult athletes, the effect of running on the cartilage of adolescent athletes have rarely been assessed. This study aims to assess the variations in the articular cartilage of the knees in healthy adolescent basketball players using quantitative T2 MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Design: Fifteen adolescent basketball players were recruited (13.8 ± 0.5 years old). Girls were excluded to avoid potential gender-related confounding effects. Players underwent a pre-run MRI scan of both knees. All participants performed a 30-minute run on a treadmill. Within 15 minutes after completion of their run, players underwent a second, post-run MRI scan. Quantitative T2 maps were generated using the echo modulation curve (EMC) algorithm. Pre-run scans and post-run scans were compared using paired t test. Results: Participants finished their 30-minute run with a mean running distance of 5.77 ± 0.42 km. Pre-run scans analysis found statistically significant (P < 0.05) changes in 3 regions of the knee lateral compartment representing the cartilaginous tissue. No differences were found in the knee medial compartment. Post-run analysis showed lower T2 values in the medial compartment compared to the pre-run scans in several weight-bearing regions: femoral condyle central (pre/post mean values of 33.9/32.2 ms, P = 0.020); femoral condyle posterior (38.1/36.8 ms, P = 0.038); and tibial plateau posterior (34.1/31.0 ms, P < 0.001). The lateral regions did not show any significant changes. Conclusions: Running leads to microstructural changes in the articular cartilage in several weight-bearing areas of the medial compartment, both in the femoral and the tibial cartilage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707S-717S
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • T2 mapping
  • adolescent
  • chondral injury
  • knee MRI
  • meniscus
  • quantitative MRI
  • running


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