BACKGROUND: Clinical knee MRI protocols require upwards of 15 minutes of scan time.PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: To compare the imaging appearance of knee abnormalities depicted with a 5-minute 3D double-echo in steady-state (DESS) sequence with separate echo images, with that of a routine clinical knee MRI protocol. A secondary goal was to compare the imaging appearance of knee abnormalities depicted with 5-minute DESS paired with a 2-minute coronal proton-density fat-saturated (PDFS) sequence.STUDY TYPE: Prospective.SUBJECTS: Thirty-six consecutive patients (19 male) referred for a routine knee MRI.FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCES: DESS and PDFS at 3T.ASSESSMENT: Five musculoskeletal radiologists evaluated all images for the presence of internal knee derangement using DESS, DESS+PDFS, and the conventional imaging protocol, and their associated diagnostic confidence of the reading.STATISTICAL TESTS: Differences in positive and negative percent agreement (PPA and NPA, respectively) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for DESS and DESS+PDFS compared with the conventional protocol were calculated and tested using exact McNemar tests. The percentage of observations where DESS or DESS+PDFS had equivalent confidence ratings to DESS+Conv were tested with exact symmetry tests. Interreader agreement was calculated using Krippendorff's alpha.RESULTS: DESS had a PPA of 90% (88-92% CI) and NPA of 99% (99-99% CI). DESS+PDFS had increased PPA of 99% (95-99% CI) and NPA of 100% (99-100% CI) compared with DESS (both P < 0.001). DESS had equivalent diagnostic confidence to DESS+Conv in 94% of findings, whereas DESS+PDFS had equivalent diagnostic confidence in 99% of findings (both P < 0.001). All readers had moderate concordance for all three protocols (Krippendorff's alpha 47-48%).DATA CONCLUSION: Both 1) 5-minute 3D-DESS with separated echoes and 2) 5-minute 3D-DESS paired with a 2-minute coronal PDFS sequence depicted knee abnormalities similarly to a routine clinical knee MRI protocol, which may be a promising technique for abbreviated knee MRI.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2 Technical Efficacy: Stage 2 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2018.
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