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Radiology. 1992 Jul;184(1):217-20.

Age-associated changes of the triangular fibrocartilage of the wrist: evaluation of the diagnostic performance of MR imaging.

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Department of Surgery II, Kaiserin Elisabeth Spital der Gemeinde Wien, Austria.


To define the appearance of degenerative changes of the triangular fibrocartilage (TFC) of the wrist on magnetic resonance (MR) images, the TFCs in one wrist of each of 30 healthy subjects in three age groups (20-35, 36-50, and greater than 50 years) and six TFCs from fresh cadavers were examined by means of coronal T1-weighted spin-echo sequences. Histologic findings were compared with findings on MR images in the cadaveric TFCs. It was proved that patches or lines of signal hyperintensity within the cadaveric TFCs were caused by degenerative changes and tears. Similar changes of the TFCs on MR images of the healthy subjects may have been caused by degeneration. In the healthy subjects, degenerative changes of the TFC, usually well defined on MR images, occurred at a very early age. The TFC appears to undergo stages of degeneration comparable to those of the menisci of the knee, but differentiation between traumatic and degenerative tears may be difficult.

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