Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the diagnostic efficacy of low- and high-field-strength MR imagers in the diagnosis of anterior cruciate ligament tears and meniscus tears.
Subjects and methods: In 219 patients with suspected internal derangement of the knee, MR imaging at 0.2 and 1.5 T was performed with similar sequences. Only patients with surgically confirmed diagnosis (n = 90) were included in the statistical analysis. Radiologists were unaware of diagnosis and field strength. Sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic accuracy, and inter- and intraobserver variability were determined.
Results: There was excellent correlation between the field strengths in accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus tears. Accuracy for medial meniscus, lateral meniscus, and anterior cruciate ligament tears was 91-93%, 88-90%, and 93-96%, respectively, at 0.2 T and 91-94%, 91-93%, and 97-98%, respectively, at 1.5 T. Inter- and intraobserver variability values showed excellent correlation (kappa > 0.8).
Conclusion: The level of diagnostic accuracy in anterior cruciate ligament tears and meniscus tears is comparable for low- and high-field-strength MR imagers.