Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction With Autologous Hamstring: Can Preoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging Accurately Predict Graft Diameter?


Recent clinical investigations have identified inadequate autograft hamstring graft diameter (<8 mm) to be predictive of failure after reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).


The objective of this study was to determine the utility of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) variables of the hamstring tendons for the prediction of graft diameter at the time of surgery. The hypothesis was that cross-sectional area (CSA) of the hamstring tendon measured on MRI could accurately predict graft diameter, and threshold measurements could be established to predict graft diameter at the time of surgery.


Cohort study (diagnosis); Level of evidence, 2.


A total of 84 consecutive skeletally mature patients prospectively enrolled in our ACL reconstruction patient registry were identified for study purposes. Patients were included if they underwent an MRI of the affected knee at our institution prior to ACL reconstruction with hamstring (HT) autograft. Graft preparation was performed via a standard quadrupled hamstring technique after harvesting both the gracilis and semitendinosus (4-GST). The smallest diameter end of the HT autograft was then utilized for measurement analysis. Total CSA was calculated for both hamstring tendons using the "region of interest tool" on the corresponding proton density-weighted axial image of the knee at the widest condylar dimension. Three independent reviewers measured the MRI scans so that intra- and interrater reliability of the measurements could be determined. A trend analysis was then undertaken to establish correlations between the MRI CSA and graft diameter. Predictive analysis was then performed to establish threshold MRI measurement values for specific graft diameters and determine whether any patient-specific factors would affect graft diameter (age, sex, and body mass index).

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