Original Article| Volume 35, ISSUE 10, P2857-2865, October 2019

Comparison Between 3-Dimensional Multiple-Echo Recombined Gradient Echo Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Arthroscopic Findings for the Evaluation of Acetabular Labrum Tear


      To evaluate radially reconstructed 3.0-Tesla 3-dimensional multiple-echo recombined gradient echo (MERGE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without arthrography for the assessment of acetabular labrum tears, using arthroscopic evaluation as the reference standard.


      A total of 71 consecutive hips, including 29 with femoroacetabular impingement, 26 with borderline developmental dysplasia of the hip, and 16 with early-stage osteoarthritis, were evaluated in this retrospective study. MERGE MRI findings were evaluated according to the modified Czerny classification for 3 regions of interest: anterior region, anterolateral region, and lateral region. Cases with severe degeneration that was not concordant with any stage in the original Czerny classification were defined as stage Ⅳ. MERGE MRI findings were compared with arthroscopic findings, and the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value in terms of the existence of labrum tears were calculated.


      MERGE MRI findings revealed labrum tears more frequently in the anterolateral region than in the anterior and lateral regions (P < .01). In cases of femoroacetabular impingement and borderline developmental dysplasia of the hip in particular, labrum tears were more frequently observed on MRI in the anterolateral region than in the lateral region (P < .05). In comparison with MRI findings and arthroscopic findings, our newly defined stage IV in the modified Czerny classification was more frequently observed in cases with a Multicenter Arthroscopy of the Hip Outcomes Research Network (MAHORN) classification of degenerative or complex (P < .01). The average sensitivity and specificity of all regions for the existence of labrum tears were 85% and 56%, respectively. Sensitivity and specificity were 79% and 50%, respectively, in the anterior region; 96% and 50%, respectively, in the anterolateral region; and 70% and 57%, respectively, in the lateral region.


      We validated the diagnostic performance of 3.0-Tesla 3-dimensional MERGE MRI for evaluating acetabular labrum tears and made comparisons with arthroscopic findings. Radially reconstructed MERGE magnetic resonance images showed excellent sensitivity for the diagnosis of labrum tears, particularly in the anterolateral region. The newly defined stage IV was distinctive of early-stage osteoarthritis cases with degeneration and/or complex arthroscopic findings. The noninvasive imaging modality of radially reconstructed MERGE MRI may be an alternative to magnetic resonance arthrography for evaluating labrum tears.

      Levels of Evidence

      Level Ⅱ, development of diagnostic criteria.
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      Linked Article

      • Editorial Commentary: Advances in 3-Dimensional Imaging are the Key to Improving our Surgical Precision in Hip Arthroscopy and Beyond
        ArthroscopyVol. 35Issue 10
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          Advances in high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging have driven a wealth of knowledge in orthopaedic basic science. The application of these novel techniques to clinical practice is the next logical step for enhancing our understanding of intra-articular pathology and morphology. The specific diagnostic challenge presented by hip labral and chondral pathology is a particular point of interest, given the increasing popularity of hip arthroscopy. As our field continues to progress in complexity, the integration of new, higher-resolution imaging sequences such as multiple-echo recombined gradient echo and double-echo steady state provide the potential to enhance preoperative planning and ultimately the effectiveness of our arthroscopic techniques.
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