Current perspectives on the advantages of 3-T MR imaging of the wrist.

Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins Hospital, 601 N Caroline St, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
Radiographics (Impact Factor: 2.73). 05/2012; 32(3):879-96. DOI: 10.1148/rg.323115741
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The use of 3-T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging systems with improved coil designs and high-resolution MR imaging sequences allows visualization of the musculoskeletal anatomy in exquisite detail and accurate characterization of abnormalities both in soft tissues and in bone. Current high-field-strength MR systems offer particular advantages for diagnostic imaging of the small joints of the extremities, especially the wrists, where multiple overlapping soft-tissue structures may be visually inseparable at lower field strengths because of limited contrast resolution. Diagnostic accuracy obtained with 3-T MR imaging of the wrist performed with an acquisition protocol that includes three-dimensional and proton density-weighted imaging sequences is nearly commensurate with that obtained with MR arthrography. Abnormalities of the ligaments, tendons, cartilage, nerves, blood vessels, and bone are clearly depicted, allowing accurate characterization of perforations, tears, and fractures, as well as various soft-tissue and intraosseous lesions (eg, ganglion cysts), vascular malformations, aneurysms, and neuropathies.