Twenty-one MRI studies with a fat-suppression three-dimensional spoiled gradient-recalled echo in a steady state (3D SPGR) pulse sequence after intravenous contrast injection were evaluated to assess the accuracy in depicting chondromalacia of the knee. On the basis of MR images, chondromalacia and its grade were determined in each of five articular cartilage regions (total, 105 regions) and then the results were compared to arthroscopic findings. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of MRI were 70%, 99%, and 93%, respectively. MR images depicted 7 of 11 lesions of arthroscopic grade 1 or 2 chondromalacia, and seven of nine lesions of arthroscopic grade 3 or 4 chondromalacia. The cartilage abnormalities in all cases appeared as focal lesions with high signal intensity. Intravenous contrast-injection, fat-suppression 3D SPGR imaging showed high specificity in excluding cartilage abnormalities and may be considered as an alternative to intra-articular MR arthrography when chondromalacia is suspected.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging