Accuracy of Ultrasound-Guided versus Landmark-Guided Intra-articular Injection for Rat Knee Joints

Amparo, Ruiz, Dalibel, Bravo, Alejandra, Duarte, Ronald S., Adler, José G., Raya

Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology |

Abstract—Our aim was to test the effectiveness of ultrasound-guided intra-articular (IA) injection into the knee joint of rodents by an inexperienced operator compared with standard landmark-guided IA injections by a trained injector. Fifty landmark-guided and 46 ultrasound-guided IA injections in 49 rats were analyzed. Animal positioning and injection protocol were designed for use with the ultrasound system. Injection delivery was verified with a secondary imaging modality. We compared the success of IA injections by method (landmark and ultrasound-guided), adjusting for all other confounding factors (age, weight, experience, laterality and presence of surgery). Ultrasound-guided injections had higher success rates overall (89% vs. 58%) and helped to reduce the number of failed attempts per injection. None of the cofounding factors influenced the success of injection. In conclusion, we found higher accuracy for ultrasound-guided IA injection delivery than the traditional landmarkbased injection method and also the technical feasibility for untrained personnel.