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MD Consult: Books: Goldman: Cecil Medicine: ARTHROGRAPHY

Goldman: Cecil Medicine, 23rd ed.

Copyright © 2007 Saunders, An Imprint of Elsevier


Arthrography involves the intra-articular placement of a needle, followed by aspiration of joint fluid and injection of a contrast agent to enhance imaging. It is often performed to exclude the possibility of infection in patients with hip pain or in those patients with total joint prostheses. It is also used occasionally to determine whether there is a full-thickness tear of the rotator cuff, triangular fibrocartilage and ligaments of the wrist, or collateral ligaments of the elbow and ankle, although MRI has replaced conventional arthrography for this indication in most centers.

Arthrography can be combined with MRI or CT to better evaluate the internal structures through joint distention and contrast-coating of structures along the articular surface, such as the labrum, ligaments, and capsule. This is discussed in the sections on individual imaging modalities.

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