University of WisconsinMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is probably employed to visualize the internal structure of the body in detail. A recent study, conducted at the University of Wisconsin, seems to explain that conventional MRI may be an effective alternative, to minimally invasive MR arthrography for the diagnosis of hip labral tears, which is a common cause of hip pain.

A hip labral tear, may be associated with the top edge of the tissue which encloses and deepens the hip joint. The common symptoms may include, hip pain or a ‘catching’ sensation in the hip joint. Usually, while treating hip labral tear, the doctors may consult a MR arthrography. It is a method of least interference and a contrast material is injected into the hip.

Colin Strickland, MD, lead author of the study, explained, “Conventional hip MRI and MR arthrogram studies revealed no significant difference between the two imaging techniques in the detection of labral tears for any of the three readers in our study group. Minimally-invasive MR arthrography remains the preferred test for the evaluation of suspected hip labral tears. However our study suggests that conventional, noninvasive MRI may detect a large percentage of these tears.”

To undertake the study, the scientists analyzed 30 patients. These patients had undergone preoperative imaging with both noninvasive MRI with MR arthrography techniques. Their results were then compared. Three radiologists independently reviewed all MRI and MR arthrogram studies for each patient. To conclude that, conventional MRI is an acceptable alternative to MR arthrography, especially in the evaluation of non-specific hip pain, further studies are essential.

The will be presented at the ARRS 2010 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.