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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2001 Oct;177(4):905-9.

Effect of chondrocalcinosis on the MR imaging of knee menisci.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St., Boston, MA 02115, USA.



Our goal was to determine the influence of chondrocalcinosis on MR imaging in the detection of meniscal tears.


A retrospective review was performed of knee MR imaging and arthroscopy records from two university hospitals between 1996 and 1998. Seventy individuals had radiographic evidence of chondrocalcinosis and underwent knee MR imaging. Thirty-seven of these individuals had undergone arthroscopy for further evaluation of their symptoms. MR imaging sensitivity and specificity in the detection of medial and lateral meniscal tears were calculated in these 37 patients who had radiographic evidence of chondrocalcinosis and in a control group of 34 patients who underwent MR imaging and arthroscopy but did not have knee chondrocalcinosis.


In the chondrocalcinosis group, MR imaging sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for meniscal tear were 78%, 71%, and 78%, respectively, for the lateral meniscus, and 89%, 72%, and 81% for the medial meniscus. The control group showed sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 93%, 100%, and 97%, respectively, for the lateral meniscus and 100% in all cases for the medial meniscus. The MR imaging detection of meniscal tears in both the lateral and medial compartments combined is significantly poorer in the presence of chondrocalcinosis (p < 0.005).


MR imaging sensitivity and specificity for detection of meniscal tear is decreased in the presence of meniscal chondrocalcinosis. Chondrocalcinosis appeared as a high-signal-intensity region on T1-weighted, intermediate-weighted, and inversion recovery sequences. The high signal of chondrocalcinosis on inversion recovery sequence is an interesting observation that to our knowledge has not been previously reported. Radiographic correlation with the MR imaging examination can help prevent overdiagnosing meniscal tears.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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