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School Of Medicine, Claire Trevor School of Arts Joint Research Grant

Dr. Ralph V. Clayman, MD, Dean, UCI School of Medicine and Professor Joseph S. Lewis III, MFA, Dean, UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts are pleased to support the UC Irvine School of Medicine and the Claire Trevor School of the Arts Joint Research Award Program

This grant has been awarded to an outstanding collaborative project by a team of two UCI full-time faculty, one with their main academic appointment in the UCI SOM, the other in the School of the Arts.  Projects are expected to span a 12-month period, and be aimed at gathering preliminary results towards the later submission of an application for a larger research grant from an extramural funding sources.   


T2 and T1rho Cartilage Mapping of the Ankle Joint of Ballet Dancers 

Dr. Hiroshi Yoshioka, Department of Radiology
Dr. Arthur Ando, Department of Dance


T2/T1rho mapping is a new physiologic/biochemical and quantitative MRI recently introduced for evaluation of the knee cartilage; but, it has never been used in the ankle. We will create a normal T2/T1rho map profile of the entire non-diseased ankle cartilage. Knowledge of the normal T2/T1rho profile allows us to evaluate subtle T2/T1rho changes in early cartilage degeneration. Comparison of measured T2/T1rho profile from ballet dancers with the normal T2/T1rho profile enables us to diagnose early cartilage degeneration quantitatively. Many dancers begin their training long before skeletal maturity and often train several hours a day for years. This causes ankle pain, and can lead to ankle arthritis in experienced ballet dancers. However, ankle problems of dancers are often treated sub-clinically and MRI is rarely used for diagnosis. Accurate imaging diagnosis of ankle disease is important due to the popularity of recreational, university, and vocational ballet dance. Because ballet dancers are relatively young and mostly female, non-invasive and non-irradiative MRI is the best imaging modality for ankle disease in this population. Early diagnosis of cartilage and other subtle pathologies in the ankle will offer dancers benefit from early interventions such as rest, rehabilitation and change in activities to prevent more severe and potentially permanent injury.

Specific Aim 1: To determine normal T2 and T1rho mapping profiles of the ankle joint with a novel orientation dependent approach using healthy volunteers.

Specific Aim 2: To quantify and evaluate early and advanced cartilage degeneration of the ankle in ballet dancers using a novel orientation dependent T2 and T1rho mapping approach.

Specific Aim 3: To correlate results of dance experience/pain questionnaires and clinical assessments with associated cartilage lesions and other ankle abnormalities in ballet dancers.