Purpose: To highlight advances in musculoskeletal imaging published over the past year that have potential for research and future clinical application. Recent findings: Technical advances in CT, MRI, and ultrasonography (US) have improved the visualization of bones and soft tissues. Continued advances in multidetector CT scanning has increased image acquisition speed and can provide greater spatial resolution in three-dimensional imaging. Recent advances in MRI include the clinical introduction of 3.0 Tesla MRI scanners, kinematic imaging, and improved visualization of articular cartilage. Higher frequency US probes have improved the visualization of soft tissues of the joints and musculoskeletal system and are finding new clinical application in small joint imaging. Current studies demonstrate improved technical image quality, but thus far there have been few controlled studies to determine the impact of these technical advances on diagnosis and therapeutic management. Summary: Technical advances in musculoskeletal imaging not only have the potential to improve patient care but also provide new opportunities for applying imaging techniques to musculoskeletal research. Additional studies are needed to determine whether these advances in imaging lead to improvement in diagnostic and therapeutic efficacy.
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