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Article

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features of Anterolateral Ligament in Young Adults without Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Preliminary Evaluation

1
Department of Radiology, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul 05030, Republic of Korea
2
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul 05030, Republic of Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diagnostics 2024, 14(12), 1226; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14121226
Submission received: 30 March 2024 / Revised: 1 June 2024 / Accepted: 8 June 2024 / Published: 11 June 2024
(This article belongs to the Section Medical Imaging and Theranostics)

Abstract

This study aimed to characterize the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) features of the Anterolateral Ligament (ALL) in young adults without Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury and evaluate its visibility using MRI. In this retrospective analysis, MRI scans of 66 young adults without ACL injuries were assessed by two radiologists. The ALL was examined from its bone-to-bone attachment between the lateral femoral epicondyle and the lateral tibia. The visibility of the ALL was classified as normal, probably normal, abnormal, or non-visualized, based on ligament continuity and thickness relative to the Meniscotibial Ligament (MTL). A continuous structure with thickness equal to or greater than the MTL was considered normal; continuous but wavy and thin features were categorized as probably normal; discontinuity and angulation were deemed abnormal. The proximal attachment of the ALL was categorized as anterior, central, or posterior to the Fibular Collateral Ligament (FCL), while the distal attachment was noted as either at the same location or distal to the MTL. The ALL was identified in 87.9–95.5% of knees and was non-visualized in 4.5–12.1% of cases. Continuous ligamentous structures were observed in 63.7–71.2% of knees (normal in 30.3–37.9%; probably normal in 27.3–40.9%), whereas 19.7–30.3% exhibited abnormal features. Inter-observer agreement was moderate to substantial (κ = 0.66, 0.56), and intra-observer agreement was substantial to excellent (κ = 0.82, 0.66). Among the 58 visible ALLs, proximal attachments were predominantly anterior (63.8%) or central (32.8%) to the FCL, with a minority posterior (1.7%). In total, 4 of the 19 central insertions were incorporated into the FCL mid-substance, and one case was blended into the meniscofemoral ligament. Distal attachments were equally distributed between the same location (50%) and distal to the MTL (50%) (mean 3.7 mm distal). In conclusion, MRI was feasible for detecting the ALL in most young adults without ACL injury, revealing continuous ligament structures in about two-thirds of cases. Approximately 40% of cases exhibited a thickness equal to or greater than the MTL, with the majority of proximal attachments located anterior to the FCL and distal attachments evenly divided between the same insertion and distal to the MTL.
Keywords: anterolateral ligament; anatomy; knee; magnetic resonance imaging anterolateral ligament; anatomy; knee; magnetic resonance imaging

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kang, J.H.; Moon, S.G.; Lee, D.-W. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features of Anterolateral Ligament in Young Adults without Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Preliminary Evaluation. Diagnostics 2024, 14, 1226. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14121226

AMA Style

Kang JH, Moon SG, Lee D-W. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features of Anterolateral Ligament in Young Adults without Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Preliminary Evaluation. Diagnostics. 2024; 14(12):1226. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14121226

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kang, Ji Hee, Sung Gyu Moon, and Dhong-Won Lee. 2024. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features of Anterolateral Ligament in Young Adults without Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury: Preliminary Evaluation" Diagnostics 14, no. 12: 1226. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics14121226

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