Sonographic and power Doppler normal anatomy

  • Fabio Martino
  • Enzo Silvestri
  • Walter Grassi
  • Giacomo Garlaschi
  • Marco Falchi
  • Emilio Filippucci
  • Carlo Martinoli
  • Gary Meenagh
  • Alessandro Muda


Cartilage is a greatly specialized type of connective tissue, mainly composed of water (70–80% by wet weight). It is avascular and aneural. The solid component of cartilage is formed of cells (chondrocytes) that are scattered in a firm gel-like substance (extracellular matrix) consisting of collagen and proteoglycans.Collagen forms a network of fibrils, which resists the swelling pressure generated by the proteoglycans. In the musculoskeletal system there are two types of cartilage: hyaline and fibrocartilage. Compared to hyaline, fibrocartilage contains more collagen and is more resistant at tensile strength.Fibrocartilage is found in intervertebral disks, symphyses, glenoid labra, menisci, the round ligament of the femur, and at sites connecting tendons or ligaments to bones.Hyaline cartilage is the most common variety of cartilage. It is found in costal cartilage, epiphyseal plates and covering bones in joints (articular cartilage). The free surfaces of most hyaline cartilage (but not articular cartilage) are covered by a layer of fibrous connective tissue (perichondrium). Hyaline cartilage structure is not uniform (Fig. 3.1). Instead, it is stratified and divided into four zones: superficial, middle, deep, and calcified. The superficial zone, also called tangential zone, is considered the articular surface and is characterized by flattened chondrocytes, relatively low quantities of proteoglycan, and numerous thicker fibrils arranged parallel to the articular surface in order to resist tension. In articular cartilage this layer acts as a barrier because there is no perichondrium.The middle zone, or transitional zone, in contrast, has round chondrocytes, the highest level of proteoglycan among the four zones, and a random arrangement of collagen.The deep (radiate zone) is the thickest zone, characterized by collagen fibrils that are perpendicular to the underlying bone, acting as an anchor to prohibit separation of zones and in order to resist at torsional and compressive mechanical strength


Articular Cartilage Synovial Fluid Achilles Tendon Medial Collateral Ligament Muscular Fiber 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Martino
    • 1
  • Enzo Silvestri
    • 2
  • Walter Grassi
    • 3
  • Giacomo Garlaschi
    • 4
  • Marco Falchi
    • 2
  • Emilio Filippucci
    • 5
  • Carlo Martinoli
    • 4
  • Gary Meenagh
    • 6
  • Alessandro Muda
    • 2
  1. 1.Giovanni XXIII-Policlinico HospitalBariItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologySan Martino HospitalGenoaItaly
  3. 3.Jesi Medical CenterUniversity Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  4. 4.University of GenoaItaly
  5. 5.University Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  6. 6.Musgrave Park HospitalBelfastUK

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