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Arthroscopy. 2018 Aug;34(8):2429-2435. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2018.03.010. Epub 2018 May 24.

A Prospective, Blinded, Multicenter Clinical Trial to Compare the Efficacy, Accuracy, and Safety of In-Office Diagnostic Arthroscopy With Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Surgical Diagnostic Arthroscopy.

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St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.. Electronic address:
Stanford Medical Center, Stanford, California, U.S.A.
Santa Monica Orthopedic Group, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
Copley Hospital, Morrisville, Vermont, U.S.A.
Kerlan Jobe Clinic, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.



The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy, accuracy, and safety of in-office diagnostic arthroscopy with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and surgical diagnostic arthroscopy.


A prospective, blinded, multicenter, clinical trial was performed on 110 patients, ages 18 to 75 years, who presented with knee pain. The study period was April 2012 to April 2013. Each patient underwent a physical examination, an MRI, in-office diagnostic imaging, and a diagnostic arthroscopic examination in the operating room. The attending physician completed clinical report forms comparing the in-office arthroscopic examination and surgical diagnostic arthroscopy findings on each patient. Two blinded experts, unaffiliated with the clinical care of the study's subjects, reviewed the in-office arthroscopic images and MRI images using the surgical diagnostic arthroscopy images as the "control" group comparison. Patients were consecutive, and no patients were excluded from the study.


In this study, the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of in-office arthroscopy was equivalent to surgical diagnostic arthroscopy and more accurate than MRI. When comparing in-office arthroscopy with surgical diagnostic arthroscopy, all kappa statistics were between 0.766 and 0.902. For MRI compared with surgical diagnostic arthroscopy, kappa values ranged from a low of 0.130 (considered "slight" agreement) to a high of 0.535 (considered "moderate" agreement). The comparison of MRI to in-office arthroscopy showed very similar results as the comparison of MRI with surgical diagnostic arthroscopy, ranging from a low kappa of 0.112 (slight agreement) to a high of 0.546 (moderate agreement). There were no patient-related or device-related complications related to the use of in-office arthroscopy.


Needle-based diagnostic imaging that can be used in the office setting is statistically equivalent to surgical diagnostic arthroscopy with regard to the diagnosis of intra-articular, nonligamentous knee joint pathology. In-office diagnostic imaging can provide a more detailed and accurate diagnostic assessment of intra-articular knee pathology than MRI. Based on the study results, in-office diagnostic imaging provides a safe, accurate, real-time, minimally invasive diagnostic modality to evaluate intra-articular pathology without the need for surgical diagnostic arthroscopy or high-cost imaging.


Level II, comparative prospective trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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