Skin marker placement by technologist prior to knee MRI helps identify clinically relevant pathologies

Vibhor Wadhwa, Eric Weissman, Daichi Hayashi, Yin Xi, Avneesh Chhabra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Majority of musculoskeletal cross-sectional imaging requests have a non-revealing and non-specific clinical history of pain. However, the location of pain is very relevant towards arriving at a specific orthopedic diagnosis. The purpose of this research was to study the impact of skin marker placement and training of technologists prior to knee MRI in detection of clinically important findings. Methods: Total 200 consecutive left knee MRIs were evaluated before and after technologist training with regards to marker placement at the site of clinical symptoms or palpable finding. Marker location in relation to the knee was recorded and important findings were classified as correlated important finding, non-correlated important finding, other compartment important finding in non-correlated cases, and diffuse abnormality, i.e. tri-compartmental cartilage defects in both correlated and non-correlated cases. Differences among scans before and after technologist training were analyzed. Results: The marker placement was observed in higher proportion of patients in post-training scans (78% vs 60%, p = 0.00). The most common location of the marker was in anterior or anterolateral knee (32% and 34% cases, respectively). The marker-important finding correlation was also higher post training, but not statistically significant (53% versus 38%, p = 0.57). Important findings correlated with the marker in more than 50% of the scans in the post-training set. Conclusion: Marker placement can aid in detection of clinically important imaging finding and technologist training aids in increased rates of marker placement and improved correlation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number530
JournalBMC musculoskeletal disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017


  • Cartilage defect
  • Knee MRI
  • Ligament tear
  • MRI skin marker
  • Meniscus tear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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