Scintigraphy has been considered as competitive to MRI, but limited data are available on the accuracy of single photon emission tomography (SPECT) compared with MRI for the assessment of meniscal tears. Our objective was to assess the value of SPECT in comparison to MRI.
Between January 2003 and March 2004, sixteen patients were studied with both modalities and the accuracy rates of SPECT scan results, and MRI findings in the diagnosis of meniscal tears were compared. Arthroscopy was the gold standard.
The respective sensitivity rate, specificity rate, and positive and negative predictive accuracies of MRI were 89%, 94%, 93%, and 79% and for SPECT those were 78%, 94%, 94%, and 88%. There was good agreement on the presence or absence of tears between two modalities (κ statistic = 0.699).
SPECT and MRI are both valuable imaging techniques. SPECT is a useful alternative when MRI is unavailable or unsuitable and it is beneficial when more possible accuracy is desired (such as when MRI results are either inconclusive or conflict with other clinical data).