Cone-beam computed tomography arthrography: an innovative modality for the evaluation of wrist ligament and cartilage injuries

Ramdhian-Wihlm, Reeta; Minor, Jean-Marie; Schmittbuhl, Matthieu; Jeantroux, Jeremy; Mahon, Peter; Veillon, Francis; Dosch, Jean-Claude; Dietemann, Jean-Louis; Bierry, Guillaume
August 2012
Skeletal Radiology;Aug2012, Vol. 41 Issue 8, p963
Academic Journal
Purpose: Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) has become an important modality in dento-facial imaging but remains poorly used in the exploration of the musculoskeletal system. The purpose of this study was to prospectively evaluate the performance and radiation exposure of CBCT arthrography in the evaluation of ligament and cartilage injuries in cadaveric wrists, with gross pathology findings as the standard of reference. Materials and methods: Conventional arthrography was performed under fluoroscopic guidance on 10 cadaveric wrists, followed by MDCT acquisition and CBCT acquisition. CBCT arthrography and MDCT arthrography images were independently analyzed by two musculoskeletal radiologists working independently and then in consensus. The following items were observed: scapholunate and lunotriquetral ligaments, triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC) (tear, integrity), and proximal carpal row cartilage (chondral tears). Wrists were dissected and served as the standard of reference for comparisons. Interobserver agreement, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were determined. Radiation dose (CTDI) of both modalities was recorded. Results: CBCT arthrography provides equivalent results to MDCT arthrography in the evaluation of ligaments and cartilage with sensitivity and specificity between 82 and 100%, and interobserver agreement between 0.83 and 0.97. However, radiation dose was significantly lower ( p < 0.05) for CBCT arthrography than for MDCT arthrography with a mean CTDI of 2.1 mGy (range 1.7-2.2) versus a mean of 15.1 mGy (range 14.7-16.1). Conclusion: CBCT arthrography appears to be an innovative alternative to MDCT arthrography of the wrist as it allows an accurate and low radiation dose evaluation of ligaments and cartilage.


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