The feasibility of point-of-care ankle ultrasound examination in patients with recurrent ankle sprain and chronic ankle instability: Comparison with magnetic resonance imaging

Sun Hwa Lee, Seong Jong Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To evaluate the feasibility of point-of-care ankle ultrasound compared with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for diagnosing major ligaments and Achilles tendon injuries in patients with recurrent ankle sprain and chronic instability, and to evaluate inter-observer reliability between an emergency physician and a musculoskeletal radiology fellow. Material and methods A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in an emergency department. Patients with recurrent ankle sprain and chronic instability were recruited. An emergency physician and a musculoskeletal radiology fellow independently evaluated the anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL), calcaneofibular ligament (CFL), distal anterior tibiofibular ligament (ATiFL), deltoid ligament, and Achilles tendon using point-of-care ankle ultrasound. Findings were classified normal, partial tear, and complete tear. MRI was used as the reference standard. We calculated diagnostic values for point-of-care ankle ultrasound for both reviewers and compared them using DeLong's test. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated for agreement between each reviewer and the reference standard, and between the two reviewers. Results Eighty-five patients were enrolled. Point-of-care ankle ultrasound showed acceptable sensitivity (96.4–100%), specificity (95.0–100%), and accuracy (96.5–100%); these performance markers did not differ significantly between reviewers. Agreement between each reviewer and the reference standard was excellent (emergency physician, ICC = 0.846–1.000; musculoskeletal radiology fellow, ICC = 0.930–1.000), as was inter-observer agreement (ICC = 0.873–1.000). Conclusion Point-of-care ankle ultrasound is as precise as MRI for detecting major ankle ligament and Achilles tendon injuries; it could be used for immediate diagnosis and further pre-operative imaging. Moreover, it may reduce the interval from emergency department admission to admission for surgical intervention, and may save costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2323-2328
Number of pages6
JournalInjury
Volume48
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Ankle instability
  • Ankle sprain
  • Emergency department
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound

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