Chronic Knee Pain: Clinical Value of MRI versus SPECT/CT

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MRI and single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT) are important imaging methods for the evaluation of chronic knee pain. MRI is the current gold standard for the assessment of soft tissue, chondral, and bony pathologies of the knee joint. In the last decade, SPECT/CT has been increasingly recognized and used for a variety of orthopedic problems. The major indication for SPECT/CT is evaluation of patients with chronic knee pain. It is particularly helpful in patients with overloading problems, chondral or osteochondral lesions, and unhappy patients with ongoing pain after arthroplasty.

This review illustrates clinical relevant imaging findings in the evaluation of chronic knee pain using MRI and SPECT/CT. Potential limitations of both modalities are discussed. A future perspective of SPECT/CT arthrography is provided.

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