MRI in osteoarthritis of the hip: Gradations of severity

King C. Li, Jay Higgs, Alex M. Aisen, Kenneth A. Buckwalter, William Martel, W. Joseph McCune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a prospective study, 10 patients with well-documented osteoarthritis (O.A.) of the hips were imaged using spinecho pulse sequences (TR = 0.5 to 1.5 s and TE = 28 to 60 ms). After analyzing the changes observed, an MR grading system for assessing severity of O.A. in the hips was developed. Using this grading system and an established grading system for osteoarthritis using roentgenograms (both systems use grades 0-4), two radiologists independently graded the MR studies and plain films separately, twice. The roentgenogram grading system was more accurate in predicting symptoms in the more severe cases, whereas the MR grading system was slightly more useful in the less severe cases. Our results show that MR can demonstrate a spectrum of changes of O.A. in the hips. Its ability to directly image articular cartilage makes it a powerful research and clinical tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-236
Number of pages8
JournalMagnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Hip, MR studies
  • Hip, osteoarthritis
  • Magnetic resonance (MR) grading of severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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