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Acta Radiol. 2006 Sep;47(7):718-24.

Magnetic resonance signal, rather than tendon volume, correlates to pain and functional impairment in chronic Achilles tendinopathy.

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1
Department of Radiology, Karolinska University Hospital/Huddinge, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To depict abnormal tendon matrix composition using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in chronic Achilles tendinopathy, and correlate intratendinous signal alterations to pain and functional impairment.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

MRI of the Achilles tendon was performed on 25 patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy (median age 50, range 37-71 years). All patients suffered from pain in the mid-portion of the Achilles tendon. Intratendinous signal was calculated from five different sagittal sequences, using a computerized 3D seed-growing technique. Pain and functional impairment were evaluated using a questionnaire completed by patients.

RESULTS:

Severity of pain and functional impairment correlated to increased mean intratendinous signal in the painful tendon in all MR sequences (P < 0.05, median r = 0.38, range 0.28-0.43 for pain; P < 0.05, median r = 0.48, range 0.29-0.49 for functional impairment). However, tendon volume did not correlate to pain or functional impairment (P > 0.05). Difference in mean intratendinous signal between symptomatic and contralateral asymptomatic tendons was highly significant in all sequences (P < 0.05) except on T2-weighted images (P = 0.6).

CONCLUSION:

Severity of pain and disability correlated to increased MR signal rather than to tendon volume in patients with unilateral mid-portion chronic Achilles tendinopathy.

PMID:
16950711
DOI:
10.1080/02841850600774035
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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