Magnetic resonance imaging findings in patients with peroneal tendinopathy and peroneal tenosynovitis

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Abstract

Objective

To compare the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings of a group of patients with clinically diagnosed peroneal tendonopathy and peroneal tenosynovitis with the MR imaging findings of a control group of patients with no clinical evidence of peroneal tendon disorder.

Subjects and methods

The MR examinations of 24 patients with symptomatic peroneal tendinopathy or peroneal tenosynovitis and 70 patients with no clinical evidence of peroneal tendon disorder were retrospectively reviewed to determine the presence or absence of four MR imaging findings: 1) predominantly or uniform intermediate signal intensity within the peroneal tendons on one or more axial proton density-weighted images, 2) predominantly or uniform intermediate signal intensity within the peroneal tendons on three consecutive axial proton density-weighted images, 3) intermediate T2 signal intensity within the peroneal tendons, and 4) circumferential fluid within the common peroneal tendon sheath greater than 3 mm in maximal width. The sensitivity and specificity of these MR imaging findings for determining the presence or absence or symptomatic peroneal tendinopathy or peroneal tenosynovitis were calculated.

Results

The sensitivity of MR imaging findings 1, 2, 3, and 4 for determining the presence of peroneal tendinopathy or peroneal tenosynovitis were 92%, 92%, 50%, and 17% respectively. The specificity of MR imaging findings 1, 2, 3, and 4 for determining the absence of peroneal tendinopathy or peroneal tenosynovitis were 57%, 79%, 93%, and 100% respectively.

Conclusion

The presence of predominantly or uniform intermediate signal intensity within the peroneal tendons on three consecutive axial proton density-weighted images is a highly sensitive and moderately specific indicator of symptomatic peroneal tendinopathy. The presence of intermediate T2 signal within the peroneal tendons, and the presence of circumferential fluid within the peroneal tendon sheath greater than 3 mm in maximal width, are highly specific indicators of peroneal tendinopathy and peroneal tenosynovitis respectively.

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