OBJECTIVE. Most studies evaluating the anterior cruciate ligament have focused on sagittal MR images for the diagnosis of injury. Limitations of sagittal images have been reported, however, including nonvisualization and incomplete visualization of the ligament. This study was undertaken to assess the value of adding coronal and axial MR images to sagittal images in the evaluation of the anterior cruciate ligament. MATERIALS AND METHODS. We reviewed oblique sagittal T1-weighted, coronal T2-weighted, and axial T2- weighted images to determine the status of the anterior cruciate ligament in 325 patients. All patients had arthroscopy. Sagittal images were initially interpreted alone and then in combination with coronal and axial images. RESULTS. Sagittal T1-weighted images alone had a 94% sensitivity and an 84% specificity for determining the status of the anterior cruciate ligament. A combined multiplanar evaluation of the anterior cruciate ligament resulted in a change in MR interpretation in 21 patients (6%), which led to an improved sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 93%. Diagnostic confidence was improved in an additional 14 patients (4%). CONCLUSION. Our results show that the efficacy of MR imaging for the detection of anterior cruciate ligament tears is greater when axial and coronal images are used in combination with sagittal images than when sagittal images are used alone.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging