High-resolution MR imaging of the elbow using a microscopy surface coil and a clinical 1.5 T MR machine: preliminary results


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Abstract

ObjectiveTo obtain high-resolution MR images of the elbow using a microscopy surface coil with a 1.5 T clinical machine and to evaluate the feasibility of its use for elbow injuries.Design and patientsFive asymptomatic normal volunteers and 13 patients with elbow pain were prospectively studied with MR imaging using a microscopy surface coil 47 mm in diameter. High-resolution MR images using a microscopy coil were obtained with fast spin echo (FSE) proton density-weighted sequence, gradient recalled echo (GRE) T2*-weighted sequence, and short tau inversion recovery (STIR) sequence, with a 1-2 mm slice thickness, a 50-70 mm field of view, an imaging matrix of 140-224×512 using zero fill interpolation, and 2-6 excitations.ResultsHigh-resolution MR images of normal volunteers using a microscopy coil clearly showed each structure of the medial and lateral collateral ligaments on GRE T2*-weighted images and FSE proton-density weighted images. Partial medial collateral ligament injury, a small avulsion of the medial epicondyle, and osteochondritis dissecans were well demonstrated on high-resolution MR images.ConclusionHigh-resolution MR imaging of the elbow using a microscopy surface coil with a 1.5 T clinical machine is a promising method for accurately characterizing the normal anatomy of the elbow and depicting its lesions in detail.

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