European Radiology

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1836–1842 | Cite as

Multi-fasciculated anterior talo-fibular ligament: reassessment of normal findings

  • E. M. Delfaut
  • X. Demondion
  • N. Boutry
  • H. Cotten
  • H. Mestdagh
  • A. Cotten


The aims of this study were to (a) provide an accurate description of the anterior talo-fibular ligament (ATFL) multifasciculated feature by means of cadaver study, and (b) to further delineate contour and signal variations on MR images related to this feature in a group of asymptomatic subjects. After MR imaging, three cadaveric feet were frozen and cut in the coronal plane. The ATFL were harvested and sent to pathology. Another cadaveric foot was dissected. The MR imaging was performed in 3 healthy volunteers and 19 patients without pathology of the ATFL. For both cadaveric feet and subjects, MR imaging protocol consisted of axial and coronal proton-density (PD) and T2-weighted turbo-spin-echo (TSE) sequences (TR/TE: 3500 ms/17–119 ms). On MR images, ATFL signal and fascicle numbers were assessed, respectively, in the axial and coronal planes. Gross anatomy and pathology confirmed the ATFL bifasciculated aspect. On cadaveric coronal MR images, 3 of 4 ATFLs were bifasciculated and one of four was striated. On patients' coronal MR images, 2 of 22 of the ATFL were monofasciculated, 12 of 22 bifasciculated, and 8 of 22 striated. On axial MR images, 16 of 22 of the ATFL demonstrated a low signal intensity and 8 of 22 an intraligamentous subtle increased signal intensity. Two of 22 of the ATFL had contour irregularities. Isolated anterior talo-fibular intraligamentous signal abnormalities or contour irregularities on axial PD and T2-weighted MR images with an otherwise normal ATFL aspect on coronal MR images and no other MRI criteria for ankle sprain may reflect normal anatomy.


Ankle Ankle anatomy Ligaments Ligament injuries MR imaging 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. Delfaut
    • 1
  • X. Demondion
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Boutry
    • 1
  • H. Cotten
    • 3
  • H. Mestdagh
    • 4
  • A. Cotten
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Musculo-Skeletal RadiologyRoger Salengro Hospital, CHRU LilleLille CedexFrance
  2. 2.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineRoger Salengro Hospital, CHRU LilleLille CedexFrance
  3. 3.Pathology LaboratoryLilleFrance
  4. 4.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryRoger Salengro Hospital, CHRU LilleLille CedexFrance

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