Despite rapidly increasing intervention, functional disability due to chronic low back pain (cLBP) has increased in recent decades. We often cannot identify mechanisms to explain the major negative impact cLBP has on patients’ lives. Such cLBP is often termed non-specific, and may be due to multiple biologic and behavioral etiologies. Researchers use varied inclusion criteria, definitions, baseline assessments, and outcome measures, which impede comparisons and consensus. The NIH Pain Consortium therefore charged a Research Task Force (RTF) to draft standards for research on cLBP. The resulting multidisciplinary panel recommended using 2 questions to define cLBP; classifying cLBP by its impact (defined by pain intensity, pain interference, and physical function); use of a minimal data set to describe research participants (drawing heavily on the PROMIS methodology); reporting “responder analyses” in addition to mean outcome scores; and suggestions for future research and dissemination. The Pain Consortium has approved the recommendations, which investigators should incorporate into NIH grant proposals. The RTF believes these recommendations will advance the field, help to resolve controversies, and facilitate future research addressing the genomic, neurologic, and other mechanistic substrates of chronic low back pain. We expect the RTF recommendations will become a dynamic document, and undergo continual improvement.
A Task Force was convened by the NIH Pain Consortium, with the goal of developing research standards for chronic low back pain. The results included recommendations for definitions, a minimal dataset, reporting outcomes, and future research. Greater consistency in reporting should facilitate comparisons among studies and the development of phenotypes.
Low Back Pain; chronic low back pain; research standards; minimum dataset; NIH Task Force
Fat suppression is an important technique in musculoskeletal imaging to improve the visibility of bone-marrow lesions; evaluate fat in soft-tissue masses; optimize the contrast-to-noise ratio in magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography; better define lesions after administration of contrast material; and avoid chemical shift artifacts, primarily at 3-T MR imaging. High-field-strength (eg, 3-T) MR imaging has specific technical characteristics compared with lower-field-strength MR imaging that influence the use and outcome of various fat-suppression techniques. The most commonly used fat-suppression techniques for musculoskeletal 3-T MR imaging include chemical shift (spectral) selective (CHESS) fat saturation, inversion recovery pulse sequences (eg, short inversion time inversion recovery [STIR]), hybrid pulse sequences with spectral and inversion-recovery (eg, spectral adiabatic inversion recovery and spectral attenuated inversion recovery [SPAIR]), spatial-spectral pulse sequences (ie, water excitation), and the Dixon techniques. Understanding the different fat-suppression options allows radiologists to adopt the most appropriate technique for their clinical practice.
To investigate whether patellofemoral T2 cartilage changes are associated with lateral patellofemoral friction syndrome (PFS), as indicated by edema-like signal within the superolateral infrapatellar (Hoffa) fat pad.
In this IRB-approved retrospective study of 510 consecutive patients, 49 patients with 50 knee MR imaging exams demonstrating normal or low-grade patellofemoral cartilage abnormalities (WORMS score ≤2) were included. 22 exams with PFS (cases) were compared with an age- and gender-matched cohort of 28 exams without PFS (controls). 3T MR imaging was performed with multi-echo, spin echo T2 mapping. Two readers measured in consensus malalignment parameters, including patellar height index, tibial tuberosity to trochlear groove distance (TT-TG), and sulcus angle. Bulk T2 cartilage values in the lateral and medial patellofemoral compartment, central weight-bearing medial and lateral femoral condyles were measured independently. Interobserver agreement was quantified using concordance correlation coefficients (CCC). Demographics, anatomic measurements, WORMS scores, and cartilage T2 values were compared between cases and controls using Fisher’s exact test, Wilcoxon rank-sum, and mixed effects models.
Cases demonstrated higher patellar height index (p=0.002) and TT-TG (p=0.02). Interobserver agreement for T2 values was good overall (CCC range: 0.65–0.93). Cases demonstrated higher medial facet patellar bulk T2 (38.1±7.5 ms) versus controls (33.6±7.3 ms) (p=0.02); otherwise there were no significant differences in regional T2 values.
T2 mapping in patients with PFS demonstrates increased cartilage T2 in the medial patellar facet, possibly reflecting collagen alteration from early chondromalacia (softening) or increased water content related to altered contact pressures.
cartilage; patellofemoral friction syndrome; patellar malalignment; T2 mapping
The purpose of this study was to survey current practices for portable media (CDs and DVDs) use for medical imaging in both academic and nonacademic radiology departments in the United States.
This survey was a stratified, nonrandom sample, 22-question electronic survey, using SurveyMonkey, of members of the Association of Administrators in Academic Radiology, the Association for Medical Imaging Management, and the University HealthSystem Consortium, conducted in November 2009. Questions were grouped by media production and media viewing practices.
One hundred and two individual responses to the survey were received. Ninety-eight percent of respondents said that their institutions produced Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)-compliant media, with only 2.0% uncertain. Only 22.2% of respondents claimed that their institutions produced Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Portable Data for Imaging (PDI)-compliant media, while 71.6% were uncertain. Rates of DICOM and IHE PDI compliance did not differ between academic and nonacademic centers. As for testing digital media produced at the institutions for DICOM and IHE PDI compliance, only 16.0% of respondents’ institutions routinely did so.
Three main problem areas regarding portable media became evident from this study: (1) access, (2) importability, and (3) viewing issues, and problems with any of the 3 can delay patient care. Noncompliance and a lack of knowledge about compliance were found to be major issues in the present study, more so for IHE PDI than for DICOM, and there is much room for improvement. Recommendations include that radiology practices should routinely generate only media compliant with DICOM and IHE PDI and should test for compliance.
DICOM; IHE; portable media; CD; DVD; medical imaging
The aim of this study was to prospectively determine the feasibility and compare the novel use of a positron emission mammography (PEM) scanner with standard PET/CT for evaluating hand osteoarthritis (OA) with 18F-FDG.
Institutional review board approval and written informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant prospective study in which 14 adults referred for oncological 18F-FDG PET/CT underwent dedicated hand PET/CT followed by arthro-PET using the PEM device. Hand radiographs were obtained and scored for the presence and severity of OA. Summed qualitative and quantitative joint glycolytic scores for each modality were compared with the findings on plain radiography and clinical features.
Eight patients with clinical and/or radiographic evidence of OA comprised the OA group (mean age 73±7.7 years). Six patients served as the control group (53.7±9.3 years). Arthro-PET quantitative and qualitative joint glycolytic scores were highly correlated with PET/CT findings in the OA patients (r=0.86. p =0.007; r=0.94, p=0.001). Qualitative arthro-PET and PET/CT joint scores were significantly higher in the OA patients than in controls (38.7±6.6 vs. 32.2±0.4, p=0.02; 37.5±5.4 vs. 32.2±0.4, p=0.03, respectively). Quantitative arthro-PET and PET/CT maximum SUV-lean joint scores were higher in the OA patients, although they did not reach statistical significance (20.8±4.2 vs. 18±1.8, p= 0.13; 22.8±5.38 vs. 20.1±1.54, p=0.21). By definition, OA patients had higher radiographic joint scores than controls (30.9±31.3 vs. 0, p=0.03).
Hand imaging using a small field of view PEM system (arthro-PET) with FDG is feasible, performing comparably to PET/CT in assessing metabolic joint activity. Arthro-PET and PET/CT showed higher joint FDG uptake in OA. Further exploration of arthro-PET in arthritis management is warranted.
PET/CT; Positron emission mammography (PEM); Osteoarthritis (OA); Arthritis; 18F-Fluoro- 2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG)
AIM: To investigate whether congenital lumbar spinal stenosis (CLSS) is associated with a specific degenerative changes of the lumbar spine.
METHODS: The lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging studies of 52 subjects with CLSS and 48 control subjects were retrospectively evaluated. In each examination, the five lumbar levels were assessed for the presence or absence of circumferential or shallow annular bulges, annular tears, anterior or posterior disc herniations, epidural lipomatosis, Schmorl’s nodes, spondylolisthesis, pars defects, and stress reactions of the posterior vertebral elements.
RESULTS: Compared to control individuals, subjects with CLSS exhibited increased incidence of circumferential and shallow annular bulges, annular tears, disc herniations and spondylolisthesis (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: CLSS is associated with increased incidence of degenerative changes in specific osseous and soft-tissue elements of the lumbar spine.
Congenital lumbar spinal stenosis; Magnetic resonance imaging; Imaging findings; Degenerative changes; Low back pain
Current musculoskeletal imaging techniques usually target the macro-morphology of
articular cartilage or use histological analysis. These techniques are able to reveal
advanced osteoarthritic changes in articular cartilage but fail to give detailed
information to distinguish early osteoarthritis from healthy cartilage, and this
necessitates high-resolution imaging techniques measuring cells and the extracellular
matrix within the multilayer structure of articular cartilage. This review provides a
comprehensive exploration of the cellular components and extracellular matrix of
articular cartilage as well as high-resolution imaging techniques, including magnetic
resonance image, electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, second
harmonic generation microscopy, and laser scanning confocal arthroscopy, in the
measurement of multilayer ultra-structures of articular cartilage. This review also
provides an overview for micro-structural analysis of the main components of normal
or osteoarthritic cartilage and discusses the potential and challenges associated
with developing non-invasive high-resolution imaging techniques for both research and
clinical diagnosis of early to late osteoarthritis.
The authors describe the correlation between 3-Tesla magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) and surgical findings in two patients who underwent multiple previous failed ulnar nerve surgeries. MRN correctly localized the site of the abnormality. Prospectively observed MRN findings of perineural fibrosis, ulnar nerve re-entrapment abnormalities, medial antebrachial cutaneous neuroma and additional median nerve entrapment were confirmed surgically.
3T MRN; MR neurography; Subcutaneous transposition; Submuscular transposition; Ulnar nerve entrapment
The diagnosis of amyloid myopathy is delayed when monoclonal gammopathies are not detected on initial testing and muscle biopsies are nondiagnostic, and the EMG and symptoms can mimic an inflammatory myopathy.
Case report of a patient presenting with severe progressive muscle weakness of unclear etiology despite an extensive workup including two nondiagnostic muscle biopsies.
Directed by MRI, a third biopsy revealed amyloid angiopathy and noncongophilic kappa light chain deposition in scattered subsarcolemmal rings and perimysial regions. A serum free light chain (FLC) assay revealed a kappa monoclonal gammopathy, which was not detected by multiple immunofixations.
The spectrum of immunoglobulin deposition in muscle is similar to other organs. It comprises a continuum that includes parenchymal amyloid deposition, amyloid angiopathy, and noncongophilic Light Chain Deposition Disease (LCDD). We recommend including the FLC assay in the routine investigation for monoclonal gammopathies. This case also highlights the value of MRI-guided muscle biopsy.
amyloid; gammopathy; light chain deposition; MRI; myopathy
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is an imaging approach that allows for the noninvasive molecular characterization of a region of interest. By detecting signals of water, lipids, and other metabolites, MRS can provide metabolic information for lesion characterization and assessment of treatment response. Although MRS has been routinely used in the brain, clinical applications within the musculoskeletal system have only more recently emerged. The aim of this article is to review the technical considerations for performing MRS in the musculoskeletal system, focusing on proton MRS, and to discuss its potential roles in musculoskeletal tumor imaging and the assessment of muscle physiology and disease.
Choline; MR spectroscopy; musculoskeletal
Bone marrow lesions on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging are common and may be seen with various pathologies. The authors outline a systematic diagnostic approach with proposed categorization of various etiologies of bone marrow lesions. Utilization of typical imaging features on conventional MR imaging techniques and other problem-solving techniques, such as chemical shift imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), to achieve accurate final diagnosis has been highlighted.
Bone marrow lesion; chemical shift imaging; diffusion; magnetic resonance imaging
A dedicated extremity cone-beam CT scanner with weight-bearing capability provides sufficient image quality and a favorable dose profile to warrant further evaluation.
To provide initial assessment of image quality and dose for a cone-beam computed tomographic (CT) scanner dedicated to extremity imaging.
Materials and Methods
A prototype cone-beam CT scanner has been developed for imaging the extremities, including the weight-bearing lower extremities. Initial technical assessment included evaluation of radiation dose measured as a function of kilovolt peak and tube output (in milliampere seconds), contrast resolution assessed in terms of the signal difference–to-noise ratio (SDNR), spatial resolution semiquantitatively assessed by using a line-pair module from a phantom, and qualitative evaluation of cadaver images for potential diagnostic value and image artifacts by an expert CT observer (musculoskeletal radiologist).
The dose for a nominal scan protocol (80 kVp, 108 mAs) was 9 mGy (absolute dose measured at the center of a CT dose index phantom). SDNR was maximized with the 80-kVp scan technique, and contrast resolution was sufficient for visualization of muscle, fat, ligaments and/or tendons, cartilage joint space, and bone. Spatial resolution in the axial plane exceeded 15 line pairs per centimeter. Streaks associated with x-ray scatter (in thicker regions of the patient—eg, the knee), beam hardening (about cortical bone—eg, the femoral shaft), and cone-beam artifacts (at joint space surfaces oriented along the scanning plane—eg, the interphalangeal joints) presented a slight impediment to visualization. Cadaver images (elbow, hand, knee, and foot) demonstrated excellent visibility of bone detail and good soft-tissue visibility suitable to a broad spectrum of musculoskeletal indications.
A dedicated extremity cone-beam CT scanner capable of imaging upper and lower extremities (including weight-bearing examinations) provides sufficient image quality and favorable dose characteristics to warrant further evaluation for clinical use.
© RSNA, 2013
Online supplemental material is available for this article.
A retrospective cohort design
To determine if baseline MRI findings including central/foraminal stenosis, Modic change, disc morphology, facet arthropathy, disc degeneration, nerve root impingement, and thecal sac compression are associated with differential surgical treatment effect.
Summary of Background Data
Intervertebral Disc Herniation (IDH)remains the most common source of lumbar radiculopathy treated either with discectomy or non-operative intervention. Although MRI remains the reliable gold standard for diagnosis, uncertainty surrounds the relationship between MRI findings and treatment outcomes.
Three-hundred-and-seven “complete” images from patients enrolled in a previous trial were de-identified and evaluated by one of 4 independent readers. Findings were compared to outcome measures including the Oswestry Disability Index. Differences in surgery and non-operative treatment outcomes were evaluated between image characteristic subgroups and TE determined by the difference in ODI scores.
The cohort was comprised of 40% females with an average age of 41.5 (±11.6), 61% of which underwent discectomy for IDH. Patients undergoing surgery with Modic type I endplate changes had worse outcomes (−26.4 versus −39.7 for none and −39.2 for type 2, p=0.002) and smaller treatment effect (−3.5 versus −19.3 for none and −15.7 for type 2, p=0.003). Those with compression >=1/3 showed the greatest improvement within the surgical group (−41.9 for >=1/3 versus −31.6 for none and −38.1 for <1/3,p=0.007), and the highest TE (−23 compared to −11.7 for none and −15.2 for <1/3, p=0.015). Furthermore, patients with minimal nerve root impingement demonstrated worse surgical outcomes(−26.5 versus −41.1 for “displaced” and −38.9 for “compressed”, p=0.016).
Among patients with IDH, those with thecal sac compression >=1/3 had greater surgical treatment effect than those with small disc herniations and Modic type I changes. Additionally, patients with nerve root “compression” and “displacement” benefit more from surgery than those with minimal nerve-root impingement.
Intervertebral Disc Herniation; Lumbar; surgical outcome; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Modic Change; Thecal Sac Compression
The authors report a vascular malformation mimicking a plexiform peripheral nerve sheath tumor. Three Tesla magnetic resonance neurography with high-resolution anatomic and advanced functional diffusion tensor imaging was helpful in evaluating full extent of the lesion and characterizing its internal architecture.
Vascular Malformation; Magnetic Resonance Neurography; Nerve Sheath Tumor
Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent and debilitating joint disorder. There is no effective medical therapy for osteoarthritis due to limited understanding of osteoarthritis pathogenesis. We show that TGF–β1 is activated in the subchondral bone in response to altered mechanical loading in an anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) osteoarthritis mouse model. TGF–β1 concentrations also increased in human osteoarthritis subchondral bone. High concentrations of TGF–β1 induced formation of nestin+ mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) clusters leading to aberrant bone formation accompanied by increased angiogenesis. Transgenic expression of active TGF–β1 in osteoblastic cells induced osteoarthritis. Inhibition of TGF–β activity in subchondral bone attenuated degeneration of osteoarthritis articular cartilage. Notably, knockout of the TGF–β type II receptor (TβRII) in nestin+ MSCs reduced development of osteoarthritis in ACLT mice. Thus, high concentrations of active TGF–β1 in the subchondral bone initiated the pathological changes of osteoarthritis, inhibition of which could be a potential therapeutic approach.
High resolution and high field magnetic resonance neurography (MR neurography, MRN) is shown to have excellent anatomic capability. There have been considerable advances in the technology in the last few years leading to various feasibility studies using different structural and functional imaging approaches in both clinical and research settings. This paper is intended to be a useful seminar for readers who want to gain knowledge of the advancements in the MRN pulse sequences currently used in clinical practice as well as learn about the other techniques on the horizon aimed at better depiction of nerve anatomy, pathology, and potential noninvasive evaluation of nerve degeneration or regeneration.
Peripheral nerves often traverse confined fibro-osseous and fibro-muscular tunnels in the extremities, where they are particularly vulnerable to entrapment and compressive neuropathy. This gives rise to various tunnel syndromes, characterized by distinct patterns of muscular weakness and sensory deficits. This article focuses on several upper and lower extremity tunnels, in which direct visualization of the normal and abnormal nerve in question is possible with high resolution 3T MR neurography (MRN). MRN can also serve as a useful adjunct to clinical and electrophysiologic exams by discriminating adhesive lesions (perineural scar) from compressive lesions (such as tumor, ganglion, hypertrophic callous, or anomalous muscles) responsible for symptoms, thereby guiding appropriate treatment.
MRI; MR neurography; Peripheral nerve; Tunnels; 3T
Stress lesions of the upper extremity are relatively uncommon, and physeal stress lesions of the clavicle are rare. We present a case of bilateral physeal stress-related lesions of the proximal clavicular growth plate near the sternoclavicular joint in an adolescent male gymnast.
A 13-year-old gymnast presented with a 3-week history of insidious onset of pain in the proximal clavicular area of his left shoulder. He had no pain at rest or at night. He recently had added a new maneuver to his routine. His radiographs were normal, but further study with CT scanning confirmed a stress lesion of his proximal clavicular physis. The lesion healed with time, and he returned to gymnastics with no symptoms. Approximately 5 months after the initial symptoms on the left side, he felt a pop and immediate pain in his right sternoclavicular joint area while doing a routine. Imaging revealed a chronic stress lesion of the proximal physis similar to that of the other side. The patient achieved healing with rest and returned to gymnastics with no limitations.
Physeal stress-related lesions of the proximal clavicular physis have not been reported in the literature.
Purpose and Clinical Relevance
Medial clavicle pain in adolescent gymnasts may be secondary to stress-related lesions of the proximal clavicular growth plate. Such lesions are rare.
Current assessment techniques for focal acetabular overcoverage are neither consistent nor quantitatively accurate.
We propose: (1) a method to precisely quantify the amount of focal acetabular overcoverage in a patient’s pincer deformity based on CT data; (2) to evaluate the consistency of this method; and (3) to compare the method with conventional radiographic assessments.
We developed a method to assess focal acetabular overcoverage using points selected from CT scans along the acetabular rim after realigning the pelvis into a neutral position. Using four resampled and segmented pelvic CT scans of cadaveric specimens with virtually induced impingement, two observers independently tested the algorithm’s consistency. Our algorithm assessed the amount of focal acetabular overcoverage using CT data and projected data from reconstructed radiographs.
(1) We successfully showed the feasibility of the software to produce consistent, quantitative measurements. (2) Testing showed the average difference between observers in aligning the pelvis was 0.42°, indicative of a consistent approach. (3) Differences between measurements on three-dimensional (3-D) CT and simulated radiographs were significant.
The proposed method represents a new avenue in consistently quantifying focal acetabular overcoverage using CT models while correcting for pelvic tilt and rotation. Our analysis confirms AP hip radiograph simulations overestimate the amount of overhanging acetabular rim in a pincer deformity.
This technique has potential to improve preoperative diagnostic accuracy and enhance surgical planning for correction of a pincer deformity resulting from focal acetabular overcoverage.
A high resolution radiographic method for soft tissues in the small joints of the hand would aid in the study and treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA), which often attacks these joints. Of particular interest would be imaging with <100 μm resolution the joint cartilage, whose integrity is a main indicator of disease. Differential phase-contrast or refraction based X-ray imaging (DPC) with Talbot grating interferometers could provide such a method, since it enhances soft tissue contrast and it can be implemented with conventional X-ray tubes. A numerical joint phantom was first developed to assess the angular sensitivity and spectrum needed for a hand DPC system. The model predicts that due to quite similar refraction indexes for joint soft tissues, the refraction effects are very small, requiring high angular resolution. To compare our model to experiment we built a high resolution bench-top interferometer using 10 μm period gratings, a W anode tube and a CCD based detector. Imaging experiments on animal cartilage and on a human finger support the model predictions. For instance, the estimated difference between the index of refraction of cartilage and water is of only several percent at ~25 keV mean energy, comparable to that between the linear attenuation coefficients. The potential advantage of DPC imaging comes thus mainly from the edge enhancement at the soft tissue interfaces. Experiments using a cadaveric human finger are also qualitatively consistent with the joint model, showing that refraction contrast is dominated by tendon embedded in muscle, with the cartilage layer difficult to observe in our conditions. Nevertheless, the model predicts that a DPC radiographic system for the small hand joints of the hand could be feasible using a low energy quasi-monochromatic source, such as a K-edge filtered Rh or Mo tube, in conjunction with a ~2 m long ‘symmetric’ interferometer operated in a high Talbot order.
Decision support systems have been used to promote the practice of evidence-based medicine. Computer-assisted diagnosis can serve as one element of evidence-based radiology. One area where such tools may provide benefit is analysis of vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), which can be a challenge in MRI interpretation. VCFs may be benign or malignant in etiology, and several MRI features may help to make this important distinction. We describe a web-based decision support system for discriminating benign from malignant VCFs as a prototype for a more general diagnostic decision support framework for radiologists. The system has three components: a feature checklist with an image gallery derived from proven reference cases, a prediction model, and a reporting mechanism. The website allows users to input the findings for a case to be interpreted using a structured feature checklist. The image gallery complements the checklist, for clarity and training purposes. The input from the checklist is then used to calculate the likelihood of malignancy by a logistic regression prediction model. Standardized report text is generated that summarizes pertinent positive and negative findings. This computer-assisted diagnosis system demonstrates the integration of three areas where diagnostic decision support can aid radiologists: first, in image interpretation, through feature checklists and illustrative image galleries; second, in feature-based prediction modeling; and third, in structured reporting. We present a diagnostic decision support tool that provides radiologists with evidence-based guidance for discriminating benign from malignant VCF. This model may be useful in other difficult-diagnosis situations and requires further clinical testing.
Decision support; computer-assisted diagnosis; compression fracture; magnetic resonance imaging; structured reporting
AIM: To evaluate two simple angle measurements for predicting lumbosacral transitional vertebra (LSTV) in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of the spine.
METHODS: The lumbar spine MRI studies of 50 subjects with LSTV and 50 subjects with normal lumbosacral anatomy were retrospectively evaluated. In each study, the mid-sagittal T2-weighted image was used to measure the angle formed by a line parallel to the superior surface of the sacrum and a line perpendicular to the axis of the scan table (A-angle), as well as the angle formed by a line parallel to the superior endplate of the L3 vertebra and a line parallel to the superior surface of the sacrum (B-angle).
RESULTS: The total study population consisted of 100 subjects (46 males, 54 females, 51 ± 16 years old). There were no differences in age and sex between the two groups. Both A-angle and B-angle were significantly increased in subjects with LSTV compared to controls (P < 0.05). The optimal cut-off values of A-angle and B-angle for the prediction of LSTV were 39.8° (sensitivity = 80%, specificity = 80%, accuracy = 83%; 95% confidence interval = 74%-89%, P = 0.0001) and 35.9° (sensitivity = 80%, specificity = 54%, accuracy = 69%; 95% confidence interval = 59%-78%, P = 0.0005), respectively.
CONCLUSION: On sagittal MR images of the lumbar spine, an increased A-angle and/or B-angle should alert the radiologist to the presence of LSTV.
Lumbosacral transitional vertebra; Magnetic resonance imaging; Lumbar spine; Angle; Prediction
Nonelderly patients presenting with knee pain often have patellofemoral maltracking or impingement abnormalities. There is a relative paucity of literature on the incidence and significance of impingement-related edema of the superolateral aspect of Hoffa’s (infrapatellar) fat pad in these cases. Our study was designed to systematically evaluate the correlation of superolateral Hoffa’s fat pad edema with various anatomic parameters of trochlear morphology and patellar alignment.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We evaluated 50 knee MRI examinations in 47 patients for the presence of edema in superolateral Hoffa’s fat pad and associated anatomic abnormalities of the patellofemoral joint.
Of the 50 examinations, 25 (50%) showed superolateral Hoffa’s fat pad edema, and statistically significant differences were seen between those with and without edema with respect to sex (6/22 men vs 19/28 women) and patellar tendon patellar–length ratio (1.3 ± 0.16 and 1.1 ± 0.12 for those with and without edema, respectively).
The findings in our study suggest that edema in superolateral Hoffa’s fat pad may be an important indicator of underlying patellofemoral maltracking or impingement in younger, symptomatic patients.
Hoffa’s fat pad edema; infrapatellar fat pad; malalignment; patellofemoral impingement