Dupuytren's contracture is a common fibrosing disorder of the hand which often results in progressive and debilitating flexion contractures of the fingers. Recurrence after surgical release is common and may be related, in part, to the cellularity of the lesion. We describe the MR appearance of Dupuytren's contracture and correlate signal characteristics with the degree of cellularity of the lesion.A total of 11 hands in 10 patients were studied. All patients had surgical resection after MR imaging (median interval, 3 days). The surgical and pathologic findings were correlated with the MR findings. The signal characteristics of the lesions were correlated with the histologic findings.We found that MR imaging was accurate for detecting Dupuytren's contracture and depicting its extent. The lesions include subcutaneous nodules, usually at the level of the distal palmar crease, and cords that lie parallel and superficial to the flexor tendons. The cords had a uniformly low signal intensity (similar to the signal intensity of tendon) on both T1- and T2-weighted images in 18 of 22 cases, whereas the remaining four cases had a low to intermediate signal intensity on T1-weighted images (a slightly higher signal intensity than that of tendon) and a low signal intensity on T2-weighted images. Histologically, the cords were hypocellular and composed of dense collagen. Most nodules had an intermediate signal intensity (similar to that of muscle) on both T1- and T2-weighted images (10 of 13 cases), usually stippled with focal areas of lower signal intensity. Histologically, these nodules were mostly cellular. Three of the nodules had a low signal intensity on both T1- and T2-weighted images and were hypocellular histologically.We conclude that MR imaging can be used to define palmar involvement in Dupuytren's contracture. The signal characteristics of the lesions correlate with the degree of cellularity of the lesions as seen histologically. The ability to assess preoperatively the cellularity of lesions of Dupuytren's contractures may be of prognostic significance, because highly cellular lesions tend to have higher rates of recurrence after surgery than do hypocellular lesions.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993KU60200024
View details for PubMedID 8456670