Intersection syndrome: MR imaging with anatomic comparison of the distal forearm

Jose E de Lima, Hyun-Jin Kim, Flavio Albertotti, Donald Resnick
Skeletal Radiology 2004, 33 (11): 627-31

OBJECTIVE: To correlate the anatomic and MR imaging characteristics of the area of intersection of the first and the second dorsal extensor tendon compartments (DETC) in the distal forearm in an attempt to improve the design of MR imaging protocols used for the evaluation of intersection syndrome.

DESIGN AND PATIENTS: Ten forearms of nine cadavers underwent MR imaging in the axial and sagittal-oblique planes before and after tenography with direct injection of a gadolinium-containing contrast agent into the first DETC in four forearms, the second DETC in four forearms, and both compartments in the remaining two forearms. The area of intersection between the first and second DETC was identified in each case as well as its distance from Lister's tubercle. Subsequently all forearms were sectioned in the axial (8 forearms) or sagittal-oblique planes (2 remaining forearms) to parallel the imaging planes. Detailed examination of each of the anatomic slices was performed in a search for anatomic variations and for possible anatomic connections of the tendons sheaths. One forearm was dissected to identify the area of intersection.

RESULTS: The area of intersection between the first and second DETC occurred between 3.5 cm and 4.8 cm (mean 4.18 cm) proximal to Lister's tubercle. After tenography, gadolinium solution was noted in the third DETC in two of four specimens in which the second DETC was injected and in one of two specimens in which both the first and second DETC were injected. Extension of the gadolinium solution between the first and second DETC was noted during isolated injections of either compartment, although this finding may have related to iatrogenic injection effects. The axial plane was the most valuable for assessment of the area of intersection of the first and second DETC.

CONCLUSION: MR imaging is a noninvasive method that can be used for the evaluation of distal forearm and wrist pain. Standard wrist protocols do not include the area of intersection between the first and second DETC and, in those cases in which intersection syndrome is suspected, the MR examination must be tailored to include the forearm.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.