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Osteochondral Lesions of the Talus

Comparison of Three-Dimensional Fat-Suppressed Fast Spoiled Gradient-Echo Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Conventional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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  • 1 Radiology Department, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
  • | 2 Radiology Department, Affiliated Hospital of Medical College Qingdao University, Qingdao, China.
  • | 3 Foot and Ankle Surgery Department, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
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Background: Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been demonstrated to be a valuable tool in diagnosing osteochondral lesions of the talus. No previous study, to our knowledge, has evaluated the diagnostic ability of fat-suppressed fast spoiled gradient-echo (FSPGR) MRI in osteochondral lesions of the talus. We sought to compare three-dimensional fat-suppressed FSPGR MRI with conventional MRI in diagnosing osteochondral lesions of the talus.

Methods: Thirty-two consecutive patients with clinically suspected cartilage lesions undergoing three-dimensional fat-suppressed FSPGR MRI and conventional MRI were assessed. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of diagnosis were determined using arthroscopic findings as the standard of reference for the different imaging techniques. The location of the lesion on the talar dome was recorded on a nine-zone anatomical grid on MRIs.

Results: Arthroscopy revealed 21 patients with hyaline cartilage defects and 11 with normal ankle joints. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the two methods for detecting articular cartilage defect were 62%, 100%, and 75%, respectively, for conventional MRI and 91%, 100%, and 94% for three-dimensional fat-suppressed FSPGR MRI. Sensitivity and accuracy were significantly higher for FSPGR imaging than for conventional MRI (P < .05), but there was no difference in specificity between these two methods. According to the nine-zone anatomical grid, the area most frequently involved was the middle of the medial talar dome (16 lesions, 76%).

Conclusions: T1-weighted three-dimensional fat-suppressed FSPGR MRI is more sensitive than is conventional MRI in detecting defects of articular cartilage covering osteochondral lesions of the talus. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(3): 189–194, 2010)

Corresponding author: Zhen-Chang Wang, MD, Radiology Department, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, 1 Dongjiaominxiang, Beijing, 100073 China. (E-mail: cjr.wzhch@vip.163.com)