MRI features of tuberculosis of the knee

Darshana A. Sanghvi, Veena R. Iyer, Tejaswini Deshmukh, Sumedh S. Hoskote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to describe the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of tuberculosis (TB) of the knee joint. The MRI features in 15 patients with TB of the knee, as confirmed by histology of the biopsied joint synovium, were reviewed retrospectively. The images were assessed for intra-articular and peri-articular abnormalities. All patients had florid synovial proliferation. The proliferating synovium showed intermediate to low T2 signal intensity. In the patients who were administered intravenous contrast, the hypertrophic synovium was intensely enhancing. Marrow edema (n∈=∈9), osteomyelitis (n∈=∈4), cortical erosions (n∈=∈5), myositis (n∈=∈6), cellulitis (n∈=∈2), abscesses (n∈=∈3), and skin ulceration/sinus formation (n∈=∈2) were seen in the adjacent bone and soft tissue. Synovial proliferation associated with tuberculous arthritis is typically hypointense on T2-weighted images. This appearance, in conjunction with other peri-articular MRI features described, can help in distinguishing TB arthritis from other proliferating synovial arthropathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-273
Number of pages7
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Knee
  • MRI
  • Tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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