Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of fast spin-echo proton-density magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with fat saturation sequences in the evaluation of bone contusions at the knee.
Methods: Analysis of 46 consecutive knee MRI examinations performed on patients referred from a sports medicine clinic after knee trauma. All examinations included coronal fast spin-echo proton-density fat saturation, fast spin-echo proton-density and fast spin-echo T2-weighted sequences. All 3 coronal sequences were blindly reviewed independently of each other by 3 experienced musculoskeletal radiologists to identify and grade bone contusions.
Results: Thirty-five bone contusions were identified in 24 patients. All bone contusions were identified on fast spin-echo proton-density fat saturation sequences, which was significantly greater than the percentage identified on either fast spin-echo T2-weighted sequences (21/35, 60%, p < 0.001) or fast spin-echo proton-density sequences (10/35, 29%, p < 0.001). Fourteen (40%) of the contusions were identified only on the fast spin-echo proton-density fat saturation sequences. The average grade of contusion for all 35 examinations was also significantly higher on the fast spin-echo proton-density fat saturation sequences than on the fast spin-echo proton-density and fast spin-echo T2-weighted sequences (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Fast spin-echo proton-density fat saturation sequences are more sensitive in the detection of bone contusions than fast spin-echo proton-density and fast spin-echo T2-weighted sequences. Assessment of other structures in the knee with fast spin-echo proton-density fat saturation MRI provides good spatial resolution and adequate T2-weighted information. It may have advantages over the more heavily T2-weighted fast spin-echo T2 fat saturation and inversion recovery sequences.