Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Signs of patellar chondromalacia on sagittal T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging

Abstract

We incidentally noted distinctive high signal defects or fissures in the patellar articular cartilage on sagittal T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) images in 4 patients. At subsequent arthroscopy all 4 patients were found to have patellar chondromalacia. To determine the reliability of these signs, we retrospectively evaluated, in a blinded manner, sagittal T2-weighted MR images of the knee in 75 patients who were undergoing arthroscopic assessment of their patellar articular cartilage. We identified high signal defects or fissures in the patellar cartilage of 5 patients. Patellar chondromalacia was noted at arthroscopy in all 5 patients. Arthroscopy demonstrated patellar chondromalacia in an additional 21 patients with normal MR images. We conclude that high signal defects or fissures on sagittal T2-weighted images are useful signs of patellar chondromalacia. This single imaging sequence will, however, detect only a small number of the cartilage lesions that may be present.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. 1.

    Conway WF, Hayes CW, Loughran T, et al. (1991) Cross-sectional imaging of the patellofemoral joint and surrounding structures. RadioGraphics 11:195

  2. 2.

    Fulkerson JP, Shea KP (1990) Current concepts review — disorders of patellofemoral alignment. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 72:1424

  3. 3.

    Hayes CW, Sawyer RW, Conway WF (1990) Patellar cartilage lesions: in vitro detection and staging with MR imaging and pathologic correlation. Radiology 176:479

  4. 4.

    Insall J (1982) Current concepts review — patellar pain. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 64:147

  5. 5.

    Lindberg U, Lysholm J, Gillquist J (1986) The correlation between arthroscopic findings and the patellofemoral pain syndrome. Arthroscopy 2:103

  6. 6.

    Noyes FR, Stabler CL (1989) A system for grading articular cartilage lesions at arthroscopy. Am J Sports Med 17:505

  7. 7.

    Outerbridge RE (1961) The etiology of chondromalacia patellae. J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 43:752

  8. 8.

    Yulish BS, Montanez J, Goodfellow DB, Bryan PJ, Mulopulos GP, Modic MT (1987) Chondromalacia patellae: assessment with MR imaging. Radiology 164:763

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Arthur A. De Smet M.D..

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

De Smet, A.A., Monu, J.U.V., Fisher, D.R. et al. Signs of patellar chondromalacia on sagittal T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Skeletal Radiol. 21, 103–105 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00241832

Download citation

Key words

  • Chondromalacia
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Sagittal T2-weighted imaging