Musculoskeletal magnetic resonance imaging: Importance of radiography

Mihra S. Taljanovic, Tim B. Hunter, Kimberly A. Fitzpatrick, Elizabeth A. Krupinski, Thomas L. Pope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the usefulness of radiography for interpretation of musculoskeletal (MSK) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies. Designs and Patients: In a 1-year period, 1,030 MSK MRI studies were performed in 1,002 patients in our institution. For each study, the interpreting radiologist completed a questionnaire regarding the availability and utility of radiographs, radiological reports and clinical information for the interpretation of the MRI study. Results: Radiographs were essential, very important or added information in 61-75% of all MSK MRI cases. Radiographs were judged as essential for reading of MRI studies more often for trauma, infection/inflammation and tumors than for degenerative and miscellaneous/normal diagnoses (χ2=60.95, df=16, P<0.0001). The clinical information was rated as "essential" or "useful" significantly more often than not (χ2=93.07, df=16, P<0.0001). The clinical and MRI diagnoses were the same or partially concordant significantly more often for tumors than for trauma, infection/inflammation and degenerative conditions, while in the miscellaneous/normal group they were different in 64% of cases. When the diagnoses were different, there were more instances in which radiographs were not available. Conclusions: Radiographs are an important, and sometimes essential, initial complementary study for reading of MSK MRI examinations. It is highly recommended that radiographs are available when MSK MRI studies are interpreted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-411
Number of pages9
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Calcification
  • Chondrocalcinosis
  • Fracture
  • Infection
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Radiograph
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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