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3D MRI: Trick or Treat?

With ankle sprains being one of the most common MSK injuries, the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) gets a lot of attention. Historically, MRI is sort of sensitive (75%) and sort of specific (86%) when it comes to diagnosing complete tears of the ATFL.

Enter 3D MRI

3D MRI rendering is the creation of a 3 dimensional digital model from a standardized MRI study. This is accomplished by stacking the highly detailed, thin, slice cross-sectional images from the MRI.

For ATFL injury ... the Winner is 3D MRI

A prospective study in which 45 patients with clinically suspected ATFL injuries underwent 2D MRI, 3D MRI and 3D model reconstruction followed by arthroscopic surgery. Two radiologists assessed the injury of ATFL in consensus without any clinical clues. Arthroscopic surgery results were the standard reference of MRI accuracy. The 3D MRI results of ATFL injury showed the sensitivity of diagnosis of complete tears of 83% and, specificity of 82%. The difference in the diagnosis of sprain and partial tears by 3D MRI and 2D MRI was statistically significant (P<0.05).

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