MR imaging findings of acetabular dysplasia in adults

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ObjectiveTo evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of MR imaging in the identification of labral and articular cartilage lesions in patients with acetabular dysplasia.Design and patientsPre-operative MR imaging was performed on 27 hips in 25 consecutive patients (16 males, 9 females, age range 19-52 years, mean age 31.2 years) with radiographic evidence of acetabular dysplasia (centre-edge angle of Wiberg <20 degrees). The average duration of symptoms was 16.2 months. Two musculoskeletal radiologists assessed MR images in consensus for the presence of abnormality involving the acetabular labrum and adjacent acetabular articular cartilage. A high resolution, non-arthrographic technique was used to assess the labrum and labral chondral transitional zone. Surgical correlation was obtained in all cases by a single surgeon experienced in hip arthroscopy and ten patients with normal hip MRI were included to provide a control group.ResultsThe acetabular labra in the dysplastic hips demonstrated abnormal signal intensity, and had an elongated appearance when compared with the control group (mean length 10.9 mm vs 6.4 mm). Morphological appearances in the labra included surface irregularity, fissures and cleft formation. MR imaging correctly identified the severity of chondral abnormality in 24 of 27 hips (89%) when compared with arthroscopic findings.ConclusionsMR imaging demonstrates an elongated labrum, focal intra-substance signal change and irregularity and fissuring of the margins in patients with acetabular dysplasia. Abnormality is also identified at the labral chondral transitional zone, where fissuring, focal clefts, chondral deficiency and subchondral cyst formation may be apparent. A high-resolution, non-arthrographic technique can provide an accurate preoperative assessment and evaluate the presence of premature osteoarthritis.

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