An anatomically based imaging sign to detect adventitial cyst derived from the superior tibiofibular joint

Marie Noëlle Hébert-Blouin, Elena Pirola, Kimberly K. Amrami, Huan Wang, Nicholas M. Desy, Robert J. Spinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The origin for complex intraneural cysts remains controversial despite recent emerging evidence to support their articular origin. The coexistence of intraneural and adventitial cysts has been described due to the proximate neurovascular bundle, i.e., the articular (neural) branch and vessels at the joint capsule. To clarify the pathogenesis, anatomically based imaging patterns can be identified. This paper characterizes a common finding identified on MRI describing the adventitial component originating from the superior tibiofibular joint (STFJ). MRIs of patients with fibular (peroneal) (n = 24) and tibial (n = 7) intraneural ganglion cysts were reviewed. Eleven patients with fibular intraneural ganglion cysts were identified as having a coexisting adventitial component. In all cases, the adventitial cyst extended from the anterior portion of the STFJ, within the capsular vessels, and along the anterior tibial vessels. The reproducible anatomy permitted the identification of an imaging pattern: the "vascular U" sign, consisting of cystic anterior tibial vessels running through the interosseous membrane between the proximal tibia and fibula. This sign was seen on axial MR image(s) obtained at the level of the fibular neck in all cases. To generalize these findings, the rare tibial intraneural ganglion cysts (derived from the posterior aspect of the STFJ) were examined; two cases had coexisting adventitial cysts with visualization of the vascular U sign. This new imaging pattern can improve the identification of adventitial cysts at the level of the STFJ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)893-902
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Anatomy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Ganglion cyst
  • adventitial cystic disease
  • articular theory
  • imaging patterns
  • synovial cyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'An anatomically based imaging sign to detect adventitial cyst derived from the superior tibiofibular joint'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this