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Imaging & Radiology

Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

Diagnostic Imaging Dallas 
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What is Arthrography?

Conventional arthrography is the x-ray examination of a joint that uses a special form of x-ray called floroscopy and a contrast material containing iodine.

Arthrographic images help physicians evaluate alterations in structure and function of a joint and help to determine the possible need for treatment, including surgery or joint replacement.

The procedure is most often used to identify abnormalities within the:

  • Shoulder
  • Wrist
  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Ankle

The procedure is also used to help diagnose persistent, unexplained joint pain or discomfort. 

What Happens During an Arthrography Exam?

In an arthrogram, contrast is injected into a joint under local anesthesia followed by imaging. The injection is typically performed using X-ray guidance. The arthrogram is commonly followed by high-field MRI (1.5 Tesla) or CT imaging. This is called an MR arthrogram or CT arthrogram.

In patients with known severe or life-threatening iodinated contrast allergy, steroid premedication is advised. Although contrast is injected into the joint rather than intravenous, there is some absorption of intra-articular contrast into the bloodstream.

How do I Prepare for an Arthrography?

No special preparation is usually necessary before arthrography. Food and fluid do not need to be restricted. You should inform your physician of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies, especially to barium or iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions. 

Questions About this Procedure?

If you have any additional questions about this procedure, please contact a member of the Baylor Diagnostic Imaging Center staff where you are scheduled.