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Keywords:

  • high-resolution MRI;
  • water-fat imaging;
  • chemical-shift artifacts;
  • musculoskeletal MRI;
  • finger joints;
  • arthritis

Abstract

Purpose

To study the use of an interleaved water-fat (IWF) sequence with a custom-made radiofrequency (RF) coil for high-resolution imaging of arthritic finger joints.

Materials and Methods

High-resolution finger magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed using a custom-made dedicated RF receiver coil and an IWF sequence. A phantom, a cadaver finger specimen, and the fingers of two normal controls and six arthritic subjects were imaged with a resolution of 156 × 156 × 600 μm. The appearance of anatomic structures on the IWF images were compared with images acquired with a regular sequence. The images were reviewed by two musculoskeletal radiologists for the depiction of anatomical structures and for the presence of abnormalities.

Results

The high-resolution images revealed detailed structures of the finger joints not detectable using typical clinical resolution. The IWF sequence gave more realistic depiction of subchondral bone thickness, and avoided false bone erosions displayed in the regular sequence. It also allowed better visualization of ligaments and tendons.

Conclusion

This pilot study shows the feasibility and the potential usefulness of high-resolution IWF imaging for finger joint evaluation. This technique may be useful for the diagnosis and treatment assessment of arthritis, and for the study of joint disease pathogenesis. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2011;33:245–251. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.