August 1999

MR arthrography of the adult acetabular capsular-labral complex: correlation with surgery and anatomy.


Our purpose was to describe the appearance of the acetabular capsular-labral complex on MR arthrography and to correlate this appearance with surgical findings in adult patients and with gross anatomic findings in cadavers.
MR arthrography of the hip joint was performed in 40 patients and six cadavers. All patients underwent subsequent arthrotomy of the hip. MR arthrography consisted of a T1-weighted three-dimensional gradient-echo sequence in both the coronal oblique and sagittal oblique planes after intraarticular injection of a 2 mmol/l solution of gadopentetate dimeglumine. The normal and pathologic appearance of the capsular-labral complex was assessed, and the labra were evaluated on the basis of morphology, signal intensity, presence of a tear, and attachment to the acetabulum. MR arthrography findings were correlated with the surgical results in all patients and with the anatomic sections of the cadaveric hip joint specimens.
MR arthrography images of the T-weighted three-dimensional gradient-echo sequences allowed visualization of the anatomic structures. The normal labrum was triangular, without any sublabral sulcus, and of homogeneous low signal intensity. A recess between the labrum and the joint capsule could be identified in instances in which no thickened labrum was present. Labral lesions included labral degeneration, a tear, or a detached labrum either with or without thickening of the labrum. The sensitivity for detection and correct staging of labral lesions with MR arthrography in the patient study was 91%; the specificity, 71%; and the accuracy, 88%.
MR arthrography with T1-weighted three-dimensional gradient-echo sequences allows excellent assessment of the normal and pathologic acetabular capsular-labral complex.

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Published In

AJR. American journal of roentgenology
Pages: 345 - 349
PubMed: 10430132



Department of Radiology, University Hospital of Vienna, Austria.

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