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01.03.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2009

HAND 1/2009

MR Arthrography of the Wrist: Controversies and Concepts

Zeitschrift:
HAND > Ausgabe 1/2009
Autoren:
Zeev V. Maizlin, Jacqueline A. Brown, Jason J. Clement, Julia Grebenyuk, David M. Fenton, Donna E. Smith, Jon A. Jacobson

Abstract

Magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) has become the preferred modality for imaging patients with internal derangement of the wrist. However, several aspects of MRA use need to be clarified before a standardized approach to the imaging of internal derangement of the wrist can be developed. The objective of the study is to evaluate the efficiency of different magnetic resonance (MR) sequences in the detection of lesions of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) and scapholunate and lunotriquetral ligaments on direct MRA. Thirty-one consecutive direct magnetic resonance arthrographic examinations of the wrist using a wrist surface coil were performed for the assessment of the TFCC and intrinsic ligaments on a 1.5-T MR imaging system (Signa; 16 channel, Excite, GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, WI, USA). All patients had wrist pain, and in six cases, there was associated clinical carpal instability. The presence, location, and extent of TFCC, scapholunate ligament (SLL), and lunotriquetral ligament (LTL) lesions on T1 fat-saturated, multiplanar gradient recalled (MPGR) and short tau inversion recovery (STIR) images were identified, compared, and analyzed. Forty-one lesions of the TFCC, SLL, and LTL were visualized on contrast-sensitive (T1 fat-saturated) images in 23/31 (74.2%) patients. Twenty-one lesions of the TFCC and intrinsic ligaments were visualized on noncontrast-sensitive (MPGR and STIR) images (15 tears of the TFCC and six tears of the SLL and LTL). All of these lesions were seen on T1 fat-saturated images; 48.8% (20/41) lesions seen on T1 fat-saturated images (eight tears of TFCC and 12 tears of SLL and LTT) were not seen on MPGR and/or STIR images. Superior contrast resolution, joint distention, and the flow of contrast facilitate the diagnosis of lesions of the TFCC and intrinsic ligaments on contrast-sensitive sequences making MRA the preferred modality for imaging internal derangements of the wrist. Little agreement exists regarding the value and location of perforations of the intrinsic ligaments given that both traumatic and degenerative perforations may be symptomatic. Noncommunicating defects of the ulnar attachments of the triangular fibrocartilage (TFC), tears of the dorsal segment of the SLL, and defects at the lunate attachment of the SLL have a higher likelihood of being symptomatic and caused by trauma rather than by degenerative perforation. Although no consensus exists, it would appear that most arthrographies should be started with a radiocarpal injection. Injection into the distal radioulnar joint should be added if no communicational defects are visualized following radiocarpal injection in patients with ulnar-sided wrist pain.

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