Biochemical changes in knee articular cartilage of novice half-marathon runners

Leiyu Qiu, Jose Perez, Christopher Emerson, Carlos M. Barrera, Jianping Zhong, Fong Nham, Jean Jose, Bryson P. Lesniak, Lee D. Kaplan, Michael G. Baraga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate changes in knee articular cartilage of novice half-marathon runners using magnetic resonance imaging T2 relaxation time mapping. Methods: Healthy subjects were recruited from local running clubs who met the following inclusion criteria: (i) age 18–45 years; (ii) body mass index less than 30 kg/m2; (iii) had participated in one half-marathon or less (none within the previous 6 months); (iv) run less than 20 km/week; (v) no previous knee injury or surgery; (vi) no knee pain. T2 signals were measured pre- and post-race to evaluate the biochemical changes in articular cartilage after the subjects run a half-marathon. Results: A significant increase in the mean ± SD T2 relaxation time was seen in the outer region of the medial tibial plateau (50.1 ± 2.4 versus 54.7 ± 2.6) and there was a significant decrease in T2 relaxation time in the lateral femoral condyle central region (50.2 ± 4.5 versus 45.4 ± 2.9). There were no significant changes in the patella, medial femoral condyle and lateral tibia articular surfaces. Conclusion: An increase in T2 relaxation time occurs in the medial tibial plateau of novice half-marathon runners. This limited region of increased T2 values, when compared with complete medial compartment involvement seen in studies of marathon runners, may represent an association between distance run and changes seen in articular cartilage T2 values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5671-5679
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of International Medical Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • T2 mapping
  • articular cartilage
  • half-marathon runners
  • knee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Cell Biology


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