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Abstract #1617

Assessment of the Myotendinous Junction After Injury in Elite Athletes Using 3D Ultrashort Echo Time Magnetization Transfer (UTE-MT) Imaging and Modeling

Yajun Ma1, Heinz R Hoenecke2, Douglas G Chang3, Jiang Du1, and Eric Y Chang1,4

1University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States, 2Orthopedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic, San Diego, California, USA, 3Orthopedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego, United States, 4Radiology Service, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, United States

Myotendinous injuries are very common in sports, most often affecting the lower extremities. Both clinical examination and MRI have been widely used for the diagnosis and prognosis of acute myotendinous injuries. However, current paradigms remain insufficient as re-injury rates are as high as 34%. For elite athletes, the balance between rehabilitation time and risk of re-injury after return to play can be extremely challenging. Using conventional MRI techniques, clinical interpretation focuses on the evaluation of edema, fluid, and hemorrhage rather than the assessment of the injured/healing components of the myotendinous junction. Furthermore, immature and mature fibrous scar tissue as well as native tendon have very short T2 values and are “invisible” with clinical MRI, thus precluding their distinction and assessment. A technique to quantitatively characterize macromolecules in injured/healing myotendinous junctions could be particularly useful in recovering athletes.

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