Diffusion Tensor Imaging for Anatomical and Quantitative Evaluation of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and ACL Grafts: A Preliminary Study

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and ACL graft could be imaged using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and to provide the DTI metrics for ACL and grafts.

Materials and Methods

Magnetic resonance imaging and DTI were performed in 40 healthy volunteers and 15 patients with ACL reconstruction. Fiber tracking and other postprocessing steps were performed on the workstation. The fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of ACL and grafts were determined.

Results

The courses of ACL and grafts were analyzed quantitatively using FA and ADC, and tractography illustrated nicely the 3-dimensional courses of the fiber bundles and corresponded well to the known anatomy. There was no significant difference in the mean FA and ADC values of the sexes.

Conclusions

Diffusion tensor imaging can be used to image and visualize the structure of ACL and ACL grafts.

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