During the last decade, the quantitative ultrasound technique has been widely employed as a versatile modality to investigate a thin but crucial tissue layer – the articular cartilage. Previous studies provide information about the morphology and mechanical and acoustic properties of the tissue derived from ultrasound measurements and correlate them with cartilage degeneration. In a previous issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Kuroki and colleagues presented a study about the relationship between International Cartilage Repair Society grading and ultrasound echo magnitude, duration, and interval in human knee cartilage. We think indirect measurements of the intrinsic physical characteristics of cartilage, as reported in this study, should be interpreted more carefully as they can be affected by many experimental and physical factors. In this editorial, we offer our opinion that more intrinsic material parameters should be selected for the assessment of degeneration states of cartilage using quantitative ultrasound
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