Indirect arthrography

Dr Yair Glick and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Indirect arthrography is an MRI technique to produce arthrographic images without the need to perform a direct joint injection. 

A standard dose of a gadolinium-containing contrast agent is injected intravenously and imaging of the shoulder performed after a delay of typically between 5 and 15 minutes 2,3, during which time exercise of the joint is performed to facilitate the diffusion of contrast into the joint.

Although the advantages of indirect arthrography are obvious (not requiring direct injection into the joint), it is not without substantial drawbacks that have limited widespread adoption. The main concerns are 1-3:

  1. lack of predictability of the degree of intra-articular enhancement, dependent on synovial surface area, inflammation, and amount of joint fluid
  2. lack of joint distention (unless a joint effusion is already present)
  3. inability to detect non-anatomical communications between fluid-containing spaces, as they will all enhance simultaneously
Interventional procedures
Share article

Article information

rID: 61210
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Indirect magnetic resonance arthrography
  • Indirect MR arthrography

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.