The purpose of our study was to assess the accuracy of inversion recovery-fast spin-echo (IR-FSE) imaging for the evaluation of chondromalacia of the patella. Eighty-six patients were included, they underwent magnetic resonance (MR) examination and subsequent knee arthroscopy. Medial and lateral facets of the patella were evaluated separately. Axial images were obtained by using IR-FSE (TR/TE/TI = 3000/25/150 msec; echo train length, 8; 4-mm thickness; 12-cm field of view; 512 × 256 matrix; two, number of excitations) with a 1.5-T MR machine. MR interpretation of chondromalacia was made on the basis of the arthroscopic grading system. Of a total of 172 facets graded, arthroscopy revealed chondromalacia in 14 facets with various grades (G0, 158; G1, 1; G2, 3; G3, 6; G4, 4). Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy in the chondromalacia grades were 57.1%, 93.0%, and 90.1%, respectively. There was one false-negative case (G4) and 11 false-positive cases (G1, eight; G2, two; G3, one). Sensitivity and specificity corrected by one grade difference were improved to 85.7% and 98.1%, respectively. When cartilage changes were grouped into early (corresponding to grade 1 and 2) and advanced (grade 3 and 4) diseases, sensitivity and specificity of the early and advanced diseases were 75% and 94% and 80% and 99%, respectively. IR-FSE imaging of the knee revealed high specificity but low sensitivity for the evaluation of chondromalacia of the patella.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We wish to thank Dr. J. E. Dumont and Dr. C. Delcroix for their stimulating and helpful discussions. We also thank Mrs. D. Legrand for her careful preparation of the manuscript. Work realized under Contract of the Minist~re de la Politique Scientifique within the framework of the Association Euratom--University of Brussels--University of Pisa.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging