Ulnar collateral ligament injury in the throwing athlete: evaluation with saline-enhanced MR arthrography

Radiology. 1995 Oct;197(1):297-9. doi: 10.1148/radiology.197.1.7568841.


Purpose: To determine whether magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography of the elbow can demonstrate precisely an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) abnormality in the throwing athlete.

Materials and methods: Forty college-level and professional throwing athletes (age range, 18-40 years) underwent saline-enhanced MR arthrography of their injured elbows. MR findings were compared with the surgical findings.

Results: Saline-enhanced MR arthrography was positive in 24 of 26 individuals with UCL tear confirmed at the time of surgery. Eighteen (95%) of 19 complete UCL tears and six (86%) of seven partial UCL tears were diagnosed with MR arthrography. Two false-negative findings and no false-positive findings were obtained.

Conclusion: Saline-enhanced MR arthrography of the elbow is a new application of a previously described technique used in the shoulder. It is useful for demonstration of subtle and gross UCL abnormalities in the throwing athlete.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arthrography
  • Collateral Ligaments / diagnostic imaging*
  • Collateral Ligaments / injuries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Male
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sports
  • Ulna / diagnostic imaging*


  • Sodium Chloride