Acute Wrist Trauma: Value of a Short Dedicated Extremity MR Imaging Examination in Prediction of Need for Treatment

PURPOSE: To assess predictive value of a short magnetic resonance (MR) imaging examination in addition to or instead of radiography in patients with acute wrist trauma to identify patients who require additional treatment versus those who do not and can be discharged without further follow-up.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Informed consent was obtained from all participating patients; the institutional review board approved the randomized controlled trial and use of data to create prediction models. Of 90 patients (37 female, 53 male; mean age, 40.0 years), 87 with acute wrist trauma were randomized to undergo radiography (n = 43) or radiography and a short MR imaging examination with low-field-strength dedicated extremity MR system (n = 44). Age, sex, trauma mechanism, presence of tenderness of the anatomic snuffbox, radiographic results, MR imaging results, and treatment data were collected. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to create four models for prediction of treatment need.

RESULTS: Thirty-six patients had one or more fractures; one patient had a marked soft-tissue lesion. In univariable analysis, age (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval: 1.00, 1.05), anatomic snuffbox tenderness (odds ratio, 2.31; 95% confidence interval: 0.90, 5.96), radiographic results (odds ratio, 31.2; 95% confidence interval: 8.90, 109), and positive MR imaging results versus MR imaging not performed (odds ratio, 1.86; 95% confidence interval: 0.57, 6.06) were significantly predictive of treatment need. In multivariable analysis, radiographic results (odds ratio, 24.7; 95% confidence interval: 6.59, 93.1) and positive MR imaging results (odds ratio, 6.28; 95% confidence interval: 1.27, 31.0) were significantly predictive of treatment need. Negative MR imaging results were not significantly predictive (odds ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval: 0.20, 3.82).

CONCLUSION: A short MR imaging examination with a low-field-strength MR imaging system following radiography in initial evaluation of patients with acute wrist trauma has additional value in prediction of treatment need; it does not have value in identification of patients who can be discharged without further follow-up.

© RSNA, 2005

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Article History

Published in print: Jan 2005