T2 mapping may provide additional diagnostic information for PCL tears

Last updated: 05-27-2020

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T2 mapping may provide additional diagnostic information for PCL tears

Published results showed greater transverse relaxation time values among patients with acute and chronic PCL tears compared with asymptomatic volunteers. Researchers said the findings may provide additional diagnostic information for patients with a suspected PCL tear that appears continuous.

Robert F. LaPrade, MD, of Twin Cities Orthopedics, and colleagues acquired unilateral knee MRI at 3T, including a multi-echo spin-echo transverse relaxation time (T2) mapping scan in the sagittal plane, among 12 patients with an acute or chronic functionally torn PCL. Researchers manually segmented and divided the PCL of six patients with a continuous PCL on MRI into proximal, mid and distal thirds. Researchers compiled summary statistics for T2 values in each third of the ligament.

Results showed a mean T2 for the entire PCL of approximately 36 milliseconds. Researchers found the highest T2 values in the proximal third at 41 milliseconds, followed by the distal third at 37 milliseconds and the mid third at 30 milliseconds. Researchers also noted higher T2 values for the entire PCL and the proximal third subregion compared with values recently published for asymptomatic volunteers with similar methodology.

“Chronic PCL tears often look ‘normal’ on MRI scans. Quantitative T2 mapping was found to be a novel technique to diagnose intact but nonfunctional PCL tears,” LaPrade told Healio Orthopedics. “Further refinement of this technique over time with 3T and the newly approved 7T MRI scanners should lead to more ‘functional’ MRI assessments of knee ligaments.” – by Casey Tingle

Disclosures: LaPrade reports he is on the editorial board for the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Experimental OrthopaedicsandKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy; is a consultant for and receives royalties from Arthrex, Ossur and Smith and Nephew; is a consultant for Linvatec; receives research grants from Ossur and Smith and Nephew; and is on committees for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.

This article has been corrected to reflect accurate disclosures on May 22, 2020.

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