Position paper on magnetic resonance imaging protocols in the musculoskeletal system (excluding the spine) by the Italian College of Musculoskeletal Radiology

  • Alberto Bellelli
  • Enzo Silvestri
  • Antonio Barile
  • Domenico AlbanoEmail author
  • Alberto Aliprandi
  • Roberto Caudana
  • Vito Chianca
  • Francesco Di Pietto
  • Carlo Faletti
  • Eugenio Genovese
  • Andrea Giovagnoni
  • Carlo Masciocchi
  • Carmelo Messina
  • Luca Maria Sconfienza
  • Vincenzo Spina
  • Marcello Zappia


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a pivotal radiological examination in clinical practice, being widely applied for musculoskeletal examinations. In this setting, strict adherence to standardized protocol is crucial to increase diagnostic performance and minimize variability among different diagnostic centres and readers. The aim of this paper is to provide standardized technical recommendations for musculoskeletal MRI scans proposed by the Italian College of Musculoskeletal Radiology. These recommendations are designed to give a uniform application of MRI protocols over the national territory, to increase reproducibility and improve diagnostic performance.


Magnetic resonance imaging Musculoskeletal Position paper Protocol 



Field of view


Proton density


Intermediate. They are sequences with long time of repetition (TR) and intermediate time of echo (TE) halfway between PD-weighted sequences (TE = 10–20 ms) and T2-weighted sequences (TE = 80–100 ms). The advantage of these sequences is that TE is short enough to maintain optimal anatomic detail (as PD-weighted sequences) and high sensitivity to fluid (as T2-weighted sequences). As a guidance, the appropriate TE is about 40–60 ms



All authors are Members of the College of Musculoskeletal Radiology of the Italian Society of Medical and Interventional Radiology. Antonio Barile and Enzo Silvestri are the president-elect and present chair of the Italian College of Musculoskeletal Radiology, respectively. Alberto Bellelli, Roberto Caudana, Carlo Faletti, Eugenio Genovese, Carlo Masciocchi and Vincenzo Spina are past chairs of the Italian College of Musculoskeletal Radiology.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. Institutional review board approval and informed consent for this paper were not needed.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Bellelli
    • 1
  • Enzo Silvestri
    • 2
  • Antonio Barile
    • 3
  • Domenico Albano
    • 4
    Email author
  • Alberto Aliprandi
    • 5
  • Roberto Caudana
    • 6
  • Vito Chianca
    • 4
  • Francesco Di Pietto
    • 7
  • Carlo Faletti
    • 8
  • Eugenio Genovese
    • 9
  • Andrea Giovagnoni
    • 10
  • Carlo Masciocchi
    • 3
  • Carmelo Messina
    • 4
    • 11
  • Luca Maria Sconfienza
    • 4
    • 11
  • Vincenzo Spina
    • 12
  • Marcello Zappia
    • 13
  1. 1.Unità Operativa Complessa di Radiologia Diagnostica ed InterventisticaRomeItaly
  2. 2.S.C. di Diagnostica per Immagini ed Ecografia InterventisticaOspedale Evangelico InternazionaleGenovaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Applied Clinical Science and BiotechnologyUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly
  4. 4.Unità Operativa di Radiologia Diagnostica ed InterventisticaIRCCS Istituto Ortopedico GaleazziMilanoItaly
  5. 5.Unità di Radiologia, Istituti Clinici ZucchiMonzaItaly
  6. 6.Private practiceVeronaItaly
  7. 7.Dipartimento di Diagnostica per ImmaginiPineta Grande HospitalCastel Volturno (CE)Italy
  8. 8.Unità di Diagnostica per ImmaginiTorinoItaly
  9. 9.Università degli Studi di VareseBusto ArsizioItaly
  10. 10.Radiologia Pediatrica e Specialistica, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Ospedali RiunitiUniversità Politecnica delle MarcheAnconaItaly
  11. 11.Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  12. 12.U.O. Radiologia generale ed Urgenza Ospedale Civile Sant’Agostino EstenseAzienda Universitaria Ospedaliera ModenaModenaItaly
  13. 13.Dipartimento di Medicina e di Scienze della SaluteUniversità degli Studi del MoliseCampobassoItaly

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