Cartilage Imaging of the Hand and Wrist Using 3-T MRI
Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.Seminars in Musculoskeletal Radiology (Impact Factor: 1.09). 04/2012; 16(2):71-87. DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1311759
The prevalence of osteoarthritis of the hand and wrist is high, and a thorough assessment of even subtle cartilage injuries is necessary before surgical interventions. Although magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been established as an important diagnostic tool for the evaluation of hand and wrist disorders, the focus has been on the assessment of the triangular fibrocartilage complex, tendons, ligaments, and the detection of avascular necrosis or occult fractures rather than on cartilage imaging. 3-T MR systems have become more and more widely available and yield an improved signal-to-noise ratio and thus a higher spatial resolution than 1.5-T systems. In principle, this should be especially beneficial for depicting the thin cartilage layers of the hand and wrist. This review focuses on cartilage imaging of the hand and wrist with 3-T MRI and addresses these four topics: (1) the advantages of 3-T versus 1.5- and 1-T MRI, (2) dedicated sequence protocols at 3 T including novel three-dimensional sequences, (3) imaging findings in common cases of overuse or sports injury, and (4) functional cartilage imaging techniques of the hand and wrist, for instance, delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of the cartilage.
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ABSTRACT: To study the value of 3.0-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging for baseline and follow-up assessment of epiphyseal finger phalanx stress fractures in a collective of 7 consecutive adolescent climbing athletes. Baseline MRI was performed in 8 fingers of 7 adolescent athletes (mean age 13.8 years, female:male = 2:5) with clinically suspected stress fracture of the fingers acquired during climbing sports. Follow-up MRI was performed after functional therapy with training interruption for 6 weeks (n = 6) and 12 weeks (n = 1). Images were analysed retrospectively and independently by two readers using an MRI grading score from 0 (no pathology) to 4 (bone marrow oedema and clear depiction of a sharp fracture line with surrounding inflammatory soft tissue reaction). A total of 8 baseline and 7 follow-up MRIs were analysed. In 7 out of 8 fingers a stress fracture line Salter-Harris III and in all fingers a bone marrow oedema were diagnosed at the epiphyseal base of the middle phalanx. The average grading score was 3.37 in the initial MRI and 1.43 in the follow-up MRI indicating fracture healing in all fingers. Kappa value for interobserver variability was 0.86, representing almost perfect interobserver agreement. 3-T MRI is a promising diagnostic technique for baseline assessment of epiphyseal finger phalanx stress fractures and for follow-up evaluation of fracture healing.
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ABSTRACT: Excellent morphological imaging of cartilage is now possible and allows the detection of subtle cartilage pathologies. Besides the standard 2D sequences, a multitude of 3D sequences are available for high-resolution cartilage imaging. The first part therefore deals with modern possibilities of morphological imaging. The second part deals with functional cartilage imaging with which it is possible to detect changes in cartilage composition and thus early osteoarthritis as well as to monitor biochemical changes after therapeutic interventions. Validated techniques such as delayed gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC) and T2 mapping as well the latest techniques, such as the glycosaminoglycan chemical exchange-dependent saturation transfer (gagCEST) technique will be discussed.
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