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Meniscal tears of the knee: accuracy of MR imaging.

Radiology 1987 August
Before surgery, 277 menisci in 144 knees were examined with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. They were then examined directly with arthroscopy or arthrotomy. Menisci were graded on a scale of 1-3 according to the character of the intrameniscal MR imaging signal. At surgery, 137 of 154 (89%) menisci exhibiting only grade 1 or grade 2 signal were found to be normal. One hundred sixteen of 123 (94%) menisci exhibiting intrameniscal signal communicating with a meniscal articular surface (grade 3 signal) had tears. If only a grade 3 signal is considered consistent with meniscal tears, then MR findings and surgical findings agreed in 91.3% of menisci. MR imaging can separate surgically significant from nonsignificant meniscal lesions and is useful in the noninvasive preoperative screening of suspected meniscal tears.

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