Evaluation of the chondromalacia patella using a microscopy coil: Comparison of the two-dimensional fast spin echo techniques and the three-dimensional fast field echo techniques

Hyun joo Kim, Sang Hoon Lee, Chang Ho Kang, Jeong Ah Ryu, Myung Jin Shin, Kyung Ja Cho, Woo Shin Cho

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Objective: We wanted to compare the two-dimensional (2D) fast spin echo (FSE) techniques and the three-dimensional (3D) fast field echo techniques for the evaluation of the chondromalacia patella using a microscopy coil. Materials and Methods: Twenty five patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty were included in this study. Preoperative MRI evaluation of the patella was performed using a microscopy coil (47 mm). The proton density-weighted fast spin echo images (PD), the fat-suppressed PD images (FS-PD), the intermediate weighted-fat suppressed fast spin echo images (iw-FS-FSE), the 3D balanced-fast field echo images (B-FFE), the 3D water selective cartilage scan (WATS-c) and the 3D water selective fluid scan (WATS-f) were obtained on a 1.5T MRI scanner. The patellar cartilage was evaluated in nine areas: the superior, middle and the inferior portions that were subdivided into the medial, central and lateral facets in a total of 215 areas. Employing the Noyes grading system, the MRI grade 0-I, II and III lesions were compared using the gross and microscopic findings. The sensitivity, specificity and accuracy were evaluated for each sequence. The significance of the differences for the individual sequences was calculated using the McNemar test. Results: The gross and microscopic findings demonstrated 167 grade 0-I lesions, 40 grade II lesions and eight grade III lesions. Iw-FS-FSE had the highest accuracy (sensitivity/specificity/accuracy = 88%/98%/96%), followed by FSPD (78%/98%/93%, respectively), PD (76%/98%/93%, respectively), B-FFE (71%/100%/93%, respectively), WATS-c (67%/100%/92%, respectively) and WATS-f (58%/99%/89%, respectively). There were statistically significant differences for the iw-FS-FSE and WATS-f and for the PD-FS and WATS-f (p < 0.01). Conclusion: The iw-FS-FSE images obtained with a microscopy coil show best diagnostic performance among the 2D and 3D GRE images for evaluating the chondromalacia patella.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalKorean Journal of Radiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Cartilage
  • Histopathologic correlation
  • Knee
  • Magnetic resonance (MR)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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