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Arthrography

What is Arthrography?
Arthrography is medical imaging to evaluate conditions of joints. There are several methods to do this.
Conventional arthrography is the x-ray examination of a joint that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and an injection of contrast material containing Iodine directly into the joint. Alternate methods of arthrography examinations use MRI or computed tomography (CT).
Fluoroscopy makes it possible to see bones, joints and internal organs in motion. When iodine contrast is injected into the joint, it fills the entire joint and becomes Clearly visible during x-ray evaluation, allowing the radiologist to assess the anatomy and function of the joint. Although the injection is typically monitored by Fluoroscopy, the examination also involves taking radiographs for documentation. The images are most often stored and viewed electronically.
Similarly, MR arthrography also involves the injection of a contrast material into the joint. The contrast material used for MR evaluation is different from that used for x-Ray; it contains gadolinium, which affects the local magnetic field within the joint.
CT arthrography uses the same type of contrast material as conventional arthrography and may be supplemented by air to produce a double contrast CT arthrogram.

Why should I do it?
Arthrographic images help physicians evaluate alterations in structure and function of a joint and help to determine the possible need for treatment, including Arthroscopy, open surgery or joint replacement.
The procedure is also used to help diagnose persistent, unexplained joint pain or discomfort. In some cases, local anesthetic medications or steroids may be injected Into the joint along with the contrast material. These medications may
Temporarily decrease joint-related pain or inflammation and provide physicians additional information about possible sources of joint pain.

Any preparations needed?

  • For MR Arthrography, please check general preparation guideline for MRI examinations
  • For CT Arthrography, please check general preparation guideline for CT examinations
  • Food and fluid intake do not need to be restricted, unless a sedative will be given.
  • You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any kidney problems or allergies, especially to iodinated or gadolinium-Based contrast materials.
  • Inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.
  • You may be asked if you have asthma, or allergies of any kind, such as allergy to iodine or x-ray contrast material, drugs, food, or environmental agents
  • You may be asked if you have any serious health problems or if you have recently had surgery .