Fast presurgical magnetic resonance imaging of meniscal tears and concurrent subchondral bone marrow lesions. Study of dogs with naturally occurring cranial cruciate ligament rupture

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Olive J, d’Anjou MA, Cabassu J, et al. 

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2014;27:1-7.

Meniscal tears and subchondral bone marrow lesions have both been described in dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture, but their possible concurrence has not been evaluated. In a population of 14 dogs exhibiting signs of stifle pain with surgically confirmed cranial cruciate ligament rupture, a short presurgical 1.5T magnetic resonance (MR) imaging protocol including dorsal proton density, dorsal T1-weighted gradient recalled echo, and sagittal fat-saturated dual echo sequences was tested to further investigate these features and illustrate meniscal tears. Interobserver agreement for detection of medial meniscal tears (k = 0.83) and bone marrow lesions (k = 0.87) was excellent. Consensus MR reading allowed detection of nine out of 12 surgically confirmed medial meniscal tears and there was no false positive. All dogs had cruciate ligament enthesis-related bone marrow lesions in the tibia, femur or both bones. Additionally, among the 12 dogs with confirmed medial meniscal tears, subchondral bone marrow lesions were present in the caudomedial (9 dogs) and caudoaxial (11 dogs) regions of the tibial plateau, resulting in odds ratios (13.6, p = 0.12, and 38.3, p = 0.04, respectively) that had large confidence intervals due to the small group size of this study. The other two dogs had neither tibial bone marrow lesions in these locations nor medial meniscal tears. These encouraging preliminary results warrant further investigation using this clinically realistic preoperative MR protocol. As direct diagnosis of meniscal tears remained challenging in dogs even with high-field MR, identification of associated signs such as subchondral bone marrow lesions might indirectly allow suspicion of an otherwise unrecognized meniscal tear.