MR imaging evaluation of knee collateral ligaments and related injuries: comparison of T1-weighted, T2-weighted, and fat-saturated T2-weighted sequences--correlation with clinical findings

J Magn Reson Imaging. 1994 Sep-Oct;4(5):725-32. doi: 10.1002/jmri.1880040516.


The objectives of this study were to compare the ability of T1-weighted (T1W), proton density/T2-weighted (PD/T2W), and fat saturation (FS) PD/T2W magnetic resonance (MR) sequences for depiction of the knee collateral ligaments and related injuries, and to compare MR findings with clinical findings. Ten subjects with normal knee ligaments and 64 patients with suspected collateral ligament injuries underwent coronal T1W, PD/T2W, and FS PD/T2W imaging. Abnormalities ranged from edema surrounding the collateral ligaments (grade I) to complete disruption of ligamentous fibers (grade III). FS PD/T2W images improved definition of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral collateral ligament (LCL) compared with other sequences in 78% and 81% of patients, respectively. While the apparent grade of collateral ligament injury was similar with all pulse sequences in most patients, depiction of such injury was usually most conspicuous on FS PD/T2W images (MCL, 92% of patients; LCL, 38% of patients). In no patients were clinically diagnosed collateral ligament injuries undetected or understaged with MR imaging. MR findings indicated higher-grade MCL and LCL injuries than did clinical examination in 24 and 15 patients, respectively.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Collateral Ligaments / injuries*
  • Collateral Ligaments / pathology*
  • Edema / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Joint Instability / pathology
  • Knee Injuries / pathology*
  • Knee Joint / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Medial Collateral Ligament, Knee / injuries
  • Medial Collateral Ligament, Knee / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Protons
  • Rupture


  • Protons