Femoral head osteonecrosis: Detection and grading by using a rapid MR imaging protocol

A. J. Khanna, Rim Yoon Taek Rim Yoon, M. A. Mont, D. S. Hungerford, D. A. Bluemke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To design and evaluate a limited magnetic resonance (MR) imaging examination that can be performed rapidly and potentially inexpensively in patients with clinical suspicion of osteonecrosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Both a limited and a full hip MR examination were performed prospectively in 179 hips in 92 patients with clinical suspicion of femoral head osteonecrosis. The presence of osteonecrosis was determined by two radiologists. The percentage of involvement of the femoral head weight-bearing surface was evaluated subsequently for osteonecrosis-positive hips on both sets of images. RESULTS: Both examinations were performed successfully in all cases. Agreement between the limited and full examinations for presence of osteonecrosis was 98.9% (177 of 179 cases; κ, 0.97). Forty-six (92%) of 50 patients with femoral head osteonecrosis at both examinations were placed in the appropriate quartile of percentage of femoral head weight-bearing surface involvement by both readers (weighted κ, 0.94). Incidental findings were made at the full examination that could not be made or were difficult to make at the limited examination. CONCLUSION: There was excellent agreement between the full and screening MR examinations for both detection of and determining the extent of osteonecrosis. The time and potential cost reduction achieved with a limited examination may allow introduction of MR imaging earlier in the diagnosis of femoral head osteonecrosis, as well as its more widespread use in patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-192
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Bones, necrosis
  • Femur, MR
  • Femur, necrosis
  • Magnetic resonance (MR), technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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