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Although lesions of the triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) frequently induce ulnar-sided wrist pain and potentially distal radioulnar joint instability, diagnosis can pose a challenge due to the intricate anatomy. This study aims to evaluate the benefits of contrast-enhanced sequences for the detection of TFCC injuries in magnetic resonance imaging of the wrist. 94 patients underwent wrist MRI with intravenous application of gadolinium-based contrast agents. For each patient, two datasets were analysed independently by two board-certified radiologists: One set comprised only plain T1- and fat-saturated proton-density-weighted sequences, while the second dataset included contrast-enhanced T1-weighted images with fat suppression. Arthroscopy or clinical reports served as reference standard with the former being used whenever available. Diagnostic confidence and TFCC component assessability were subjectively evaluated. Contrast-to-noise ratios (CNR) were calculated serve as an objective indicator of image contrast. Lesions of the articular disc, the foveal and styloid ulnar attachment were present in 24 (25.5%), 61 (64.9%) and 53 (56.4%) patients. Access to contrast-enhanced T1 images improved the diagnostic accuracy for injuries of the styloid (R1/R2, 0.68/0.73 vs. 0.86/0.88) and foveal attachment (0.68/0.72 vs. 0.90/0.89) substantially compared to plain MRI (all p < 0.001), while no benefits could be identified for lesions of the central disc (0.89/0.90 vs. 0.87/0.90). Readers' diagnostic confidence and CNR for ulnar-sided lesions improved with contrast-enhanced T1 sequences available (p < 0.001). With superior CNR in lesions of the TFCC's foveal and styloid attachment, contrast-enhanced, fat-saturated T1-weighted sequences facilitate higher diagnostic accuracy and confidence than fat-saturated PD- and plain T1-weighted MRI. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Karsten Sebastian Luetkens, Susanne Franziska Laas, Sylvia Haßler, Tobias Gassenmaier, Carsten Herbert Gietzen, Georgios Christopoulos, Henner Huflage, Andreas Steven Kunz, Thorsten Alexander Bley, Rainer Schmitt, Jan-Peter Grunz. Contrast-enhanced MRI of the wrist: Intravenous application of gadolinium improves diagnosis in ulnar-sided injuries of the TFCC. European journal of radiology. 2021 Oct;143:109901

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PMID: 34392004

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