Purpose: To determine if magnetic resonance (MR) imaging T2 mapping can be used to quantify histologic tendon healing by using a rabbit Achilles tendon transection model treated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Materials and Methods: Experiments were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The Achilles tendons of 24 New Zealand white rabbits (48 limbs) were surgically transected, and PRP (in the test group) or saline (in the control group) was injected into the transection site. The rabbits were sacrificed 2, 4, 8, and 12 weeks after surgery. Thereafter, T2 mapping and histologic evaluations were performed by using the Bonar scale. A mixed-model multivariate analysis of variance was used to test the effects of time and PRP treatment on the T2 value and Bonar grade, respectively. The correlation between the T2 value and Bonar grade was also assessed by using the Spearman correlation coefficient. Results: The Bonar scale values decreased in both groups during tendon healing. The T2 value also shortened over time (P < .001 for both groups). The T2 values were positively correlated with the Bonar grade (r = 0.78, P < .001). Both the T2 value and Bonar scale value were lower in the PRP group than in the control group at 4, 8, and 12 weeks; however, there was no significant effect of PRP treatment on the T2 value or Bonar grade. Conclusion: The T2 value changes reflected histologic tendon healing. While T2 and Bonar grade were lower at all time points in tendons treated with PRP, there was no significant difference between the treatment and control tendons.
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