Objectives: Previous studies have shown low to moderate evidence for a variety of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features as prognostic factors in athletes with hamstring injuries. Short-tau inversion recovery (STIR) signal intensity has not yet been investigated for assessing the prognosis of acute muscle injuries. Our aim was to explore the relationship between MRI STIR signal intensity and time to return to play (RTP) and to investigate the association between MRI STIR and reinjury risk in athletes with acute hamstring injuries. Study design: Case-control study. Methods: We used MRI STIR to measure intramuscular signal intensity in patients with clinically diagnosed hamstring injuries at two time points: at injury and RTP. At injury, we calculated the association of MRI STIR signal intensity with the time to RTP and reinjury risk. At RTP, the association of MRI STIR signal intensity and reinjury risk and the change in MRI STIR signal intensity over time on reinjury risk was evaluated. Results: 51 patients were included. We found increased MRI STIR signal intensity: (1) at time of injury not to be associated with time to RTP, (2) at time of injury to be associated with a slightly lower risk for reinjury: odds 0.986 (0.975–0.998, p = 0.02) and (3) at RTP not to be associated with reinjury risk. (4) We found no association between the change in MRI STIR signal intensity over time and reinjury risk. Conclusion: Increased MRI STIR signal intensity at injury has no value in time to RTP prognosis, but is associated with a reduced reinjury risk.

Hamstring muscles, Injury, MRI, Reinjury, Return to play, Sports and exercise medicine
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.02.008, hdl.handle.net/1765/135116
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Department of Orthopaedics

van der Horst, R.A. (R. A.), Tol, J.L, Weir, A, den Harder, J.M. (J. M.), Moen, M.H, Maas, M, & Reurink, G. (2021). The value of MRI STIR signal intensity on return to play prognosis and reinjury risk estimation in athletes with acute hamstring injuries. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. doi:10.1016/j.jsams.2021.02.008