How Much is Enough?

Taking inspiration from an interesting paper – Advances in Musculoskeletal MRI – Technical Considerations – I was asking myself: how many Tesla are needed to make a correct diagnosis of knee pathology? Recent MRI technology developments have brought new powerful systems; some radiology departments start using 3 Tesla Mri imaging systems for knee exams. But what is the real added value on musculoskeletal imaging? Not considering special techniques like spectroscopy or molecular imaging, what can I see more than a dedicated system does not reveal? I often wondered if my report would change by scanning the same patient with a 3 Tesla Mri. Three days ago a man came to my department bringing a previous 3 Tesla Mri exam: what a nice chance to reveal if there was any difference! Take a look at the comparison between 0.3, 1.5 and 3 Tesla images of the same patient; history of patellar fracture, femoro-patellar chondropathy and posterior horn medial meniscus tear. High field Mri for knee evaluation: is it always needed? 





8 thoughts on “How Much is Enough?

  1. Hi there, no idea if this is still active… just wondering, to digress from knees for a moment – if a 1.5t MRI showed a complete/severe ATFL tear and high grade/grade III CFL, would there be any need to do a 3t MRI or is this adequate for diagnostic purposes? Thanks much.

    • Hi Carla, thanks for your question; in my experience I need no 3T Mri to have a correct diagnosis of that kind of injuries

  2. Pingback: 0.3 and 1.5 Tesla Mri | coachingultrasound

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  5. Hello, as a patient who is trying to understand my MRI and the role it plays in diagnosing my knee condition I had a question. Would the difference between 1.5 and 3 telsa’s matter for a partial patellar tendon tear at the patella insertion point, or for noticing chronic degradation of the tendon which would point to patellar tendonisis? Again, thank you if you are able to come across my comment and answer it. I am a college student who has been dealing with a recalcitrant knee injury, and is very much eager to get back into running.

    • Hallo Kris, 1.5 tesla Mri is enough for your patellar tendon; in my daily practice I always perform a dynamic Ultrasound scan, also with elastosonography evaluation, so I can appriaciate the tendon stiffness. Don’t forget the importance of clinical evaluation. I mean: is there a patellar irregular allignment? Vastus medialis insufficiency? Etc…

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