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Predictive Value of 3-T Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Diagnosing Grade 3 and 4 Chondral Lesions in the Hip

      Purpose

      To assess the diagnostic capability and predictive value of 3-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in detecting grade 3 and 4 cartilage lesions in the hip.

      Methods

      From August 2010 to April 2015, patients who underwent 3-T MRI and hip arthroscopy were included in the study. Data were prospectively collected and retrospectively reviewed. A radiologist prospectively documented MRI findings, and the surgeon documented cartilage damage at arthroscopy using the Outerbridge grading system. Arthroscopy was considered the diagnostic gold standard. This study was approved by the institutional review board.

      Results

      The study group comprised 606 patients, with 354 men (58%) and 252 women (42%). The mean patient age was 34 years (range, 18 to 71 years). For femoral head defects, the sensitivity was 61% (95% confidence interval [CI], 53% to 68%), specificity was 58% (95% CI, 55% to 62%), positive predictive value was 29% (95% CI, 25% to 33%), and negative predictive value was 84% (95% CI, 81% to 87%). For chondral defects of the acetabulum, the sensitivity was 80% (95% CI, 75% to 84%), specificity was 41% (95% CI, 38% to 44%), positive predictive value was 42% (95% CI, 39% to 45%), and negative predictive value was 79% (95% CI, 74% to 84%).

      Conclusions

      The results of this study showed that 3-T MRI had sensitivity, as well as specificity, for identifying chondral defects that is similar to what has been previously reported. MRI showed increased sensitivity when identifying acetabular defects compared with femoral head defects. With a low positive predictive value, MRI may be most useful in ruling out cartilage lesions.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, diagnostic study.
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