Direct magnetic resonance arthrography of the knee: utility of axial traction

Palhais, N. S.; Guntern, D.; Kagel, A.; Wettstein, M.; Mouhsine, E.; Theumann, N.
September 2009
European Radiology;Sep2009, Vol. 19 Issue 9, p2225
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of axial traction during acquisition of direct magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography examination of the knee in terms of joint space width and amount of contrast material between the cartilage surfaces. Direct knee MR arthrography was performed in 11 patients on a 3-T MR imaging unit using a T1-weighted isotropic gradient echo sequence in a coronal plane with and without axial traction of 15 kg. Joint space widths were measured at the level of the medial and the lateral femorotibial joint with and without traction. The amount of contrast material in the medial and lateral femorotibial joint was assessed independently by two musculoskeletal radiologists in a semiquantitative manner using three grades (‘absence of surface visualization, ‘partial surface visualization or ‘complete surface visualization’). With traction, joint space width increased significantly at the lateral femorotibial compartment (mean = 0.55 mm, p = 0.0105) and at the medial femorotibial compartment (mean = 0.4 mm, p = 0.0124). There was a trend towards an increased amount of contrast material in the femorotibial compartment with axial traction. Direct MR arthrography of the knee with axial traction showed a slight and significant increase of the width of the femorotibial compartment with a trend towards more contrast material between the articular cartilage surfaces.


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