Magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of suspected osteonecrosis of the knee.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed on 19 patients with suspected or proven osteonecrosis of the knee. The results were compared to radionuclide and plain radiographic studies when possible. The patients were grouped into one of three categories: patients with disease predisposing them to osteonecrosis (e.g., systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), steroid use, and renal transplants), older patients without risk factors with acute onset of symptoms,and patients with knee pain months or years following trauma. In six patients with symptoms and predisposing diseases, MRI was abnormal in four cases, all of whom had bilateral abnormalities. In the ten older patients with classical symptoms, MRI was abnormal in seven, and bilateral abnormalities were present in three patients. The three patients with a history of antecedent trauma had normal MRI studies. Two patients with history and scintigraphic evidence of osteonecrosis had negative MRI scans. MRI may be of value in patients with suspected or proven osteonecrosis of the knee by demonstrating bilateral disease in patients with unilateral symptoms, showing the extent of involvement, and establishing the presence or absence of bone marrow changes in patients with positive bone scans and negative plain films.
Pollack, MS; Dalinka, MK; Kressel, HY; Lotke, PA; Spritzer, CE
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