With conflicting results in the literature, it remains unclear whether a higher field strength automatically increases the sensitivity and specificity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for detecting pathological lesions in the knee. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies comparing the diagnostic accuracy of 1.5- and 3.0-T MRI for lesions within the knee.Methods:
Sixteen studies were included in the meta-analysis of the diagnostic accuracy of MRI for lesions of the knee joint, and areas under the curve (AUC) derived from the summary receiver operating characteristic curve analysis were determined for comparison of the diagnostic accuracy with differing magnetic field strength as well as for lesions in different tissues of the knee. Separate meta-analyses were performed for the diagnosis of lesions within articular cartilage, ligaments, and meniscus.Results:
For lesions within the articular cartilage, the AUC for 1.5-T MRI differed significantly from that for 3.0-T MRI (Z = 3.4, P < .05). However, for lesions within the ligaments and meniscus, the AUC values for 1.5-T MRI did not differ significantly from those for 3.0-T MRI (Z = 0.32, P > .05, and Z = 0.33, P > .05, respectively).Conclusion:
Our results indicate that both 1.5-T and 3.0-T MRI offer high diagnostic accuracy and clinical relevance for knee injuries involving the meniscus or a ligament. However, the present meta-analysis indicates that 3.0-T MRI does offer greater diagnostic accuracy than 1.5-T MRI for articular cartilage lesions.