Accuracy of MRI evaluation of meniscus tears in the setting of ACL injuries.

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BACKGROUNDOur purpose was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the pre-operative detection of meniscus tears requiring operative intervention, and identify factors that determined accuracy of diagnosing meniscus tears, in the setting of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.METHODSLevel III.RESULTSSensitivity, specificity, PPV, and NPV of MRI were 0.90, 0.75, 0.58, and 0.95 for medial meniscus tears, respectively, and 0.67, 0.81, 0.65, and 0.82 for lateral meniscus tears. MRI-diagnosed medial meniscus tears were associated with a longer time interval between initial injury and imaging compared to ACL tears without concomitant meniscus injury on MRI (p=0.038). Vertical medial meniscus tears were less likely than other tear patterns to require treatment at the time of ACL reconstruction (p=0.03). MRI showed a higher diagnostic performance for lateral meniscus tears when surgery was performed within 30days of imaging.CONCLUSIONSThis study demonstrates only moderate sensitivity and specificity of pre-operative MRI in the detection of meniscus tears requiring operative treatment in the setting of ACL injury. High rates of false diagnoses were observed, suggesting MRI may not be as accurate in predicting positive or negative meniscus findings at the time of ACL reconstruction as previously reported.

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