Magnetic Resonance Arthrogram Referrals by Subspecialist and Non-Subspecialist Orthopaedic Surgeons: What are the Findings?
Zeid Al-Ani*, Syed Ali, Simon Beardmore, Vinay Parmar, Teik Chooi Oh
Identifiers and Pagination:Year: 2016
First Page: 375
Last Page: 381
Publisher Id: TOORTHJ-10-375
Article History:Received Date: 01/02/2016
Revision Received Date: 31/05/2016
Acceptance Date: 19/06/2016
Electronic publication date: 05/08/2016
Collection year: 2016
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
Although subspecialist orthopaedic surgeons usually request Magnetic Resonance Arthrogram (MRA) examinations, some orthopaedic surgeons may request this examination for a body part that is different from their subspecialty. The purpose of the study is to compare the MRA and the clinical findings in the subspecialist and non-subspecialist groups.
Retrospective analysis of MRA examinations over a 6-month period. Findings were compared with the clinical information.
There were 144 examinations (69 shoulder, 42 wrist and 33 hip). 85% of these were subspecialist referrals; 60% of them showed findings compatible with the clinical diagnosis. 15% of the MRA examinations were non-subspecialist referrals; 52% of them correlated with the clinical findings.
Overall, clinical information agreed with MRA findings for shoulder labral tears, hip labral tears and wrist triangular fibrocartilage complex tears in 63.3%, 64.5% and 61.5% respectively. The subspecialist group were more accurate than the non-subspecialist group in diagnosing hip labral tears (68% vs. 50%) and triangular fibrocartilage complex tears (62.5% vs. 50%). On the contrary, shoulder MRA and clinical findings correlated better in the non-subspecialist group (77.8%) compared to the subspecialist group (63.3%). However, the small number of requests generated by the non-subspecialist group may affect the results. Suspected scapholunate ligament injury showed low correlation with MRA at 26.7% (33.3% in the subspecialist group and 0% in the non-subspecialist group).
Generally, the clinical findings are more accurate in the subspecialist referrals when compared to MRA findings and therefore a subspecialist referral is preferred. The low agreement between clinically suspected scapholunate ligament injuries and wrist MRA probably reflects the relative difficulty in establishing this diagnosis clinically.