Comparison of Indirect MR Arthrography With Conventional MRI in the Diagnosis of Knee Pathologies in Patients With Knee Pain




Background: Knee pain is a common problem in the general population. In order to determine the extent of the injury and the appropriate treatment, MRI provides the most accurate imaging method. This may be done through conventional MRI techniques or by injecting a contrast material (MR arthrography). Objectives: The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic value of these two methods. Patients and Methods: The study involved the diagnostic evaluation on 60 patients with knee pain who received treatment over the course of a one-year period. Referred patients were randomly divided into two groups: indirect MR arthrography was performed on one group, and conventional MRI was performed on the other group. Both groups then underwent arthroscopy. The results from both groups were compared with the arthroscopic findings. Results: In all of the pathologies studied, the sensitivity, specificity, and the positive and negative predictive values were evaluated. A high rate of accuracy was found between MR arthrography and arthroscopy (P < 0.05) for all knee injuries, however a similar rate of accuracy between conventional MRI and arthroscopy was only seen in patients with damage to the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the tibio-femoral articular cartilage, and patella chondromalacia (P < 0.05). The highest rate of accuracy was seen in cases where indirect MR arthrography was used for the diagnosis of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage (K = 1). Conclusions: Our results have shown that indirect MR arthrography had greater diagnostic accuracy in regards to the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values than conventional MRI in knee pathologies.