There are many reasons why a CT arthrogram may be requested: a tear, sprainor dislocation. The technique is proven but requires optimal hygiene precautions.
Principle of a CT arthrogram
The CT arthrogram is a relatively invasive procedure. It uses a conventional CT scan applied to a joint - for example the ankle, knee or shoulder - combined with injection of a contrast medium. it is generally requested after a succession of injuries which may have caused damage not visualised on a conventional CT scan or one without injection. A scan without injection does not visualise the soft tissues. Injection of an iodinated contrast medium therefore shows these in relief and can reveal possible internal injuries.
As an injection is made into the joint concerned sterile precautions must be taken to avoid any infection. The puncture site is prepared specifically with surgical disinfection and the doctor wears a sterile gown. Once the substance has been injected, the radiology operator then takes over to perform the CT scan.
This particular investigation is generally used for suspected ligament, tendon or meniscus rupture. The description of the investigation may seem rather complicated although it is an everyday process both in clinics and in hospital.
- Société Française de Radiologie;
The CT arthrogram, a common but specific investigation. © Iinserm