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The purpose was to introduce the Vienna morphological Achilles tendon score (VIMATS), to evaluate its reproducibility and to assess its clinical application.
In 38 patients a total number of 40 painful ATs and 20 volunteers were examined on a 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner using a standard MRI protocol. In 20 patients clinical scoring according to the Achilles tendon rupture score was available. Two observers independently assessed the thickness, continuity, signal intensity, and associated pathologies of the Achilles tendon (AT) according to the newly created VIMATS. Intraobserver and interobserver agreements were calculated and the clinical application of the VIMATS regarding its potential to differentiate between patients and volunteers was tested.
An analysis of the Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) yielded an excellent intraobserver (ICC 0.925) and interobserver agreement (ICC 0.946) for the total VIMAT score. A significant difference in total VIMATS was found between patients (47.6 ± StD 21.1 points) and volunteers (91.5 ± SD 10.9 points; p < 0.01) as well as a moderate correlation between morphological and clinical scoring (Pearson correlation 0.644).
The VIMAT score is the first MRI score for the semiquantitative morphological evaluation of AT injuries and was shown to be an easy, fast and reproducible tool for assessing injuries of the AT.