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Evolution of Intrameniscal Signal-Intensity Alterations Detected on MRI Over 24 Months in Patients With Traumatic Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear.



The objective of our study was to assess the prevalence and evolution of intrameniscal signal-intensity alteration in subjects with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear over 24 months and compare clinical outcome and changes of cartilage between subjects with and those without this meniscal abnormality.

Materials and methods

Fifty-seven subjects with an ACL tear were screened for intrameniscal signal-intensity alteration. Morphologic and compositional MRI was performed before ACL reconstruction and 12 and 24 months after ACL reconstruction. Twelve subjects with an intrameniscal signal-intensity alteration and 12 subjects without any meniscal abnormality on MRI were identified. Clinical outcome was measured using the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), and T1ρ and T2 maps of the cartilage were obtained.


In 10 of 12 subjects (83%) the meniscal signal-intensity abnormality identified on baseline MRI was located at the posterior horn of the medial meniscus. None of these subjects presented with a meniscal tear over 24 months of follow-up. At 12 months after the ACL tear, the intrameniscal signal-intensity alteration detected on baseline MRI had completely resolved in seven of 12 subjects (58%), showed a signal-intensity decrease in four (33%), and remained stable in one subject (8%). Of the 10 subjects who underwent MRI at 24 months, the meniscal signal-intensity alteration had completely resolved in eight (80%), and the signal intensity had decreased in the other two subjects. Changes in the KOOS and cartilage T1ρ and T2 values from baseline and 24 months did not differ significantly between subjects with and those without intrameniscal signal-intensity alteration (p > 0.05).


High intrameniscal signal-intensity alterations are a common finding in subjects with an ACL tear and have a benign course over 24 months after surgical repair of the ACL tear.

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