Early diagnosis of acute cartilage injuries enables monitoring of disease progression and improved treatment option planning to prevent post-traumatic osteoarthritis. In contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CECT), the changes in cationic agent diffusion within the tissue reflect cartilage degeneration. The diffusion in degenerated cartilage depends on proteoglycan (PG) content and water content, but each having an opposite effect on diffusion, thus compromising the diagnostic sensitivity. To overcome this limitation, we propose the simultaneous imaging of cationic (sensitive to PG and water contents) and non-ionic (sensitive to water content) agents. In this study, quantitative dual-energy CT (QDECT) imaging of two agents is reported for the first time at clinically feasible imaging time points. Furthermore, this is the first time synchrotron microCT with monochromatic X-rays is employed in cartilage CECT. Imaging was conducted at 1 and 2 h post contrast agent immersion. Intact, PG-depleted, and mechanically injured + P G-depleted cartilage samples (n = 33) were imaged in a mixture of cationic (iodine-based CA4+) and non-ionic (gadolinium-based gadoteridol) agents. Concurrent evaluation of CA4+ and gadoteridol partitions in cartilage is accomplished using QDECT. Subsequent normalization of the CA4+ partition with that of the gadoteridol affords CA4+ attenuations that significantly correlate with PG content - a key marker of OA.