Prevalence of traumatic findings on routine MRI in a large cohort of professional fighters

  • Lee J
  • Wu J
  • Banks S
 et al. 
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Abstract

BACKGROUNDANDPURPOSE: Previous studies investigatingMRimaging abnormalities among fighters have had small sample sizes. This investigation assessed a large number of fighters using the same conventional sequences on the same scanner. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Conventional 3T MR imaging was used to assess 499 fighters (boxers, mixed martial artists, and martial artists) and 62 controls for nonspecificWMchanges, cerebral microhemorrhage,cavumseptum pellucidum, andcavumvergae. The lengths of the cavum septum pellucidum and cavum vergae and the ratio of cavum septum pellucidum to the septum pellucidum lengths were assessed. RESULTS: The prevalence of nonspecific WM changes was similar between groups. Fighters had a prevalence of cerebral microhemor- rhage (4.2% versus 0% for controls, P?.152). Fighters had a higher prevalence of cavum septum pellucidum versus controls (53.1% versus 17.7%, P?.001) and cavum vergae versus controls (14.4% versus 0%, P?.001). The lengths of the cavum septum pellucidum plus the cavum vergae (P?.001), cavum septum pellucidum (P?.025), and cavum septum pellucidum to the septum pellucidum length ratio (P?.009) were higher in fighters than in controls. The number of fights slightly correlated with cavum septum pellucidum plus cavum vergae length (R?0.306, P?.001) and cavum septum pellucidum length (R?0.278, P?.001). When fighters were subdivided into boxers, mixed martial artists, and martial artists, results were similar to those in the whole-group analysis. CONCLUSIONS: This study assessed MR imaging findings in a large cohort demonstrating a significantly increased prevalence of cavum septum pellucidum among fighters. Although cerebral microhemorrhages were higher in fighters than in controls, this finding was not statistically significant, possibly partially due to underpowering of the study.

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