World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article




ICD-9-CM 88.32
OPS-301 code 3-13k

An arthrogram is a series of images, often X-rays, of a joint after injection of a contrast medium. The injection is normally done under a local anesthetic.The radiologist or radiographer performs the study using fluoroscopy or ultrasound to guide the placement of the needle into the joint and then injects an appropriate amount of contrast.


  • Related technologies 1
  • Use 2
  • Risks 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Related technologies

The physician or radiographer then obtains a series of X-rays, or alternatively Computed Tomography (CT) scans or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. The joint can be imaged from many angles in fluoroscopy, or on a slice by slice basis in CT and MRI scans.


The physician assesses the images produced.[1]

Shoulder arthrography can be used to study tears of the rotator cuff. The procedure can also define abnormalities of the glenoid labrum and bicipital tendon and sheath.[1]

For pneumoarthrography, a gaseous medium has been used, for opaque arthrography a water-soluble iodinated medium is used, and a combination of both has been used in double-contrast arthrography. Current practice is single contrast arthrography usually coupled with CT or MR imaging.

The exam is usually done under the fluoroscope, or less commonly ultrasound, to guide the needle into the correct place in the joint.

Increasingly utilized in the last ten years, Magnetic Resonance Arthrography and Computed tomography arthrography (CT) combines a standard arthrogram with Magnetic Resonance Imaging or CT scanning. While preparing the iodine contrast for injection into the joint, the physician adds a small quantity (usually less than 1 ml) of gadolinium contrast. Once the joint has been injected, the traditional radiographic images may or may not be obtained, and the patient then undergoes an MR or CT of the joint. The gadolinium in the contrast fluid yields a bright hyperintense signal on T1 weighted images and allows evaluation of quite small defects of the joint capsule, the articular surface of the bones and of the labral cartilage. MR arthrography is most often used in evaluation of the hip and acetabular labrum, of the shoulder rotator cuff and glenoid labrum, and less often in the wrist.[1]

Arthrograms, in practice, can be diagnostic or therapeutic. Therapeutic arthrograms are often joint distention and cortisone injection procedures. A frequent site for such a procedure is the shoulder. Diagnostic arthrograms can be direct, as described above with penetration of the joint, or indirect, by a venous injection of contrast material and later imaging with CT or MRI.[1]


Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications, contrast dyes, local anesthesia, iodine, or latex should not have this procedure. Potential risks are infections at the puncture site where the radiopaque substance and/or air are injected. Bleeding is also a small risk.

Reports have arisen of gadolinium contrast agents causing

  • FDA website on gadolinium-containing contrast agents
  • Video tutorial for performing an arthrogram

External links

  1. ^ a b c d R. Crim, Julia, Specialty Imaging: Arthrography: Principles and Practice in Radiology, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins,  
  2. ^ Bloom, Mark (22 December 2006), Medical News: FDA Issues Alert on Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agent for Kidney Patients, Nephrology, General Nephrology, MedPage Today, retrieved 2009-05-05 
  3. ^ Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, FDA ALERT, US Food and Drug Administration, 6/2006, updated 12/2006 and 5/23/2007, retrieved 2009-05-05 


Medical Imaging Radiographer Radiologist

See also

Aside from the risk of NSF in people with kidney disease, arthrograms carry the same risks as ordinary X-rays or MRI scans.

[3] (FDA) has recommended that physicians refrain from using gadolinium contrast agents on patients with kidney disease "unless the diagnostic information is essential and can not be obtained with non-contrast-enhanced MRI or other diagnostic procedures."U.S. Food and Drug Administration; there have been zero reports of gadolinium leading to health problems in individuals with healthy kidneys. The mechanism linking gadolinium, kidney dysfunction, and NSF is currently unknown. The kidney disease These cases have only occurred in people with moderate-to-end-stage [2]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.