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Diffusion Tensor Imaging for Anatomical and Quantitative Evaluation of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and ACL Grafts: A Preliminary Study

Yang, Xianfeng MD*; Li, Ming MD*; Chen, Dongyang MD; Shi, Dongquan MD; Zhou, Zhengyang MD, PhD*; Zhu, Bin MD*; Jiang, Qing MD, PhD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: July/August 2014 - Volume 38 - Issue 4 - p 489–494
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0000000000000078
Musculoskeletal Imaging

Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and ACL graft could be imaged using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and to provide the DTI metrics for ACL and grafts.

Materials and Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging and DTI were performed in 40 healthy volunteers and 15 patients with ACL reconstruction. Fiber tracking and other postprocessing steps were performed on the workstation. The fractional anisotropy (FA) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of ACL and grafts were determined.

Results: The courses of ACL and grafts were analyzed quantitatively using FA and ADC, and tractography illustrated nicely the 3-dimensional courses of the fiber bundles and corresponded well to the known anatomy. There was no significant difference in the mean FA and ADC values of the sexes.

Conclusions: Diffusion tensor imaging can be used to image and visualize the structure of ACL and ACL grafts.

From the Departments of *Radiology, and †Orthopedic Surgery, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, PRC.

†Orthopedic Surgery, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, PRC.

Received for publication November 26, 2013; accepted January 20, 2014.

Reprints: Bin Zhu, MD, Department of Radiology, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School. Nanjing, PRC 210008 (e-mail: binzhu_2010@163.com); Qing Jiang, MD, The Affiliated Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, 321 Zhong Shan Ave, Nan Jing, PRC 210008 (e-mail: qingjiang_2012@163.com).

The National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of China (Grant No. 81125013) supported this work.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins