CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Rev Bras Ortop (Sao Paulo) 2020; 55(06): 673-680
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1702961
Artigo de Atualização
Artroscopia do esporte

The Role of Magnetic Resonance in the Diagnosis of Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome[*]

Article in several languages: português | English
1  Serviço de Radiologia do sistema Musculoesquelético, Fleury Medicina & Saúde, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
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1  Serviço de Radiologia do sistema Musculoesquelético, Fleury Medicina & Saúde, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
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1  Serviço de Radiologia do sistema Musculoesquelético, Fleury Medicina & Saúde, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
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1  Serviço de Radiologia do sistema Musculoesquelético, Fleury Medicina & Saúde, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
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1  Serviço de Radiologia do sistema Musculoesquelético, Fleury Medicina & Saúde, São Paulo, SP, Brasil
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

Chronic compartment syndrome is a common and often underdiagnosed exercise-induced condition, accounting on average for a quarter of cases of chronic exertional pain in the leg, second only to the fracture/tibial stress syndrome spectrum. It traditionally occurs in young runner athletes, although more recent studies have demonstrated a considerable prevalence in low-performance practitioners of physical activity, even in middle-aged or elderly patients. The list of differential diagnoses is extensive, and sometimes it is difficult to distinguish them only by the clinical data, and subsidiary examinations are required. The diagnosis is classically made by the clinical picture, by exclusion of the differential diagnoses, and through the measurement of the intracompartmental pressure. Although needle manometry is considered the gold standard in the diagnosis, its use is not universally accepted, since there are some important limitations, apart from the restricted availability of the needle equipment in Brazil. New protocols of manometry have recently been proposed to overcome the deficiency of the traditional ones, and some of them recommend the systematic use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the exclusion of differential diagnoses. The use of post-effort liquid-sensitive MRI sequences is a good noninvasive option instead of needle manometry in the diagnosis of chronic compartment syndrome, since the increase in post-exercise signal intensity is statistically significant when compared with manometry pressure values in asymptomatic patients and in those with the syndrome; hence, the test can be used in the diagnostic criteria. The definitive treatment is fasciotomy, although there are less effective alternatives.

* Work developed at the Musculoskeletal Radiology Service of the Fleury Group of Medicine & Diagnosis, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.




Publication History

Received: 05 July 2019

Accepted: 05 December 2019

Publication Date:
02 April 2020 (online)

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