Correlations between the alpha angle and femoral head asphericity: Implications and recommendations for the diagnosis of cam femoroacetabular impingement

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Publication Type pre-print
School or College School of Medicine
Department <blank>
Creator Harris, Michael D.
Other Author Kapron, Ashley L.; Peters, Christopher L.; Anderson, Andrew E.
Title Correlations between the alpha angle and femoral head asphericity: Implications and recommendations for the diagnosis of cam femoroacetabular impingement
Date 2014-01-01
Description Objective: To determine the strength of common radiographic and radial CT views for measuring true femoral head asphericity. Patients and Methods: In 15 patients with cam femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) and 15 controls, alpha angles were measured by two observers using radial CT (0º, 30º, 60º, 90º) and digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) for the: anterior-posterior (AP), standing frog-leg lateral, 45° Dunn with neutral rotation, 45° Dunn with 40°external rotation, and cross-table lateral views. A DRR validation study was performed. Alpha angles were compared between groups. Maximum deviation from a sphere of each subject was obtained from a previous study. Alpha angles from each view were correlated with maximum deviation. Results: There were no significant differences between alpha angles measured on radiographs and the corresponding DRRs (p = 0.72). Alpha angles were significantly greater in patients for all views (p ≤0.002). Alpha angles from the 45° Dunn with 40° external rotation, cross-table lateral, and 60° radial views had the strongest correlations with maximum deviation (r = 0.831; r 20 = 0.823; r=0.808, respectively). The AP view had the weakest correlation (r = 0.358). Conclusion: DRRs were a validated means to simulate hip radiographs. The 45° Dunn with 40° external rotation, cross-table lateral, and 60º radial views best visualized femoral asphericity. Although commonly used, the AP view did not visualize cam deformities well. Overall, the magnitude of the alpha angle may not be indicative of the size of the deformity. Thus, 3D reconstructions and measurements of asphericity could improve the diagnosis of cam FAI. Key Words: Cam Femoroacetabular Impingement Alpha Angle, Femur Asphericity, Digitally Introduction Cam-type femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) has been implicated as a cause of chondrolabral damage, hip osteoarthritis (OA), and musculoskeletal pain in young adults [1-3]. Cam FAI is characterized by an aspherical femoral head and/or insufficient femoral head-neck offset [4,5]. Identifying the degree of femoral head asphericity is important as the underlying goal of surgery to correct cam FAI is to restore a more normal, spherical morphology to the femoral head. The alpha angle is a two-dimensional (2D) radiographic measure of femoral head asphericity that is commonly used to diagnose cam FAI [6-8]. Although, first proposed by Notzli et al. for only an oblique axial view of the femur, use of the alpha angle has been extended to several radiographic projections and radial computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MR) views [7,9-14]. Unfortunately, alpha angle measurements can vary between views of the same femur [10,15,16]. Consequently, the ideal view to diagnose cam FAI remains unknown [15,17]. One approach to identify the optimal view in which to measure the alpha angle has been to quantify observer repeatability. However, reports of repeatability have not been consistent and repeatability is not necessarily a measure of effectiveness [18,19]. Another approach has been to correlate alpha angles from standard radiographic views to oblique axial or radial MRI/CT views [12,14,15,17]. Still, alpha angle measurements from radial views are not generated automatically, and thus do not provide a true reference standard. In addition, radial views do not consider the geometry of the entire femoral head. Alternatively, subject-specific 3D reconstructions of femur morphology, generated from volumetric CT or MR images, can be used to visualize the anatomy of the entire femoral head. By fitting the 3D reconstruction to a sphere, UU IR Author Manuscript UU IR Author Manuscript University of Utah Institutional Repository Author Manuscript one can quantify the size of a deformity as maximum deviation from the sphere, herein referred to as 'true femoral head asphericity' [20,21].
Type Text
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 83
Issue 5
First Page 788
Last Page 796
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Harris, M. D., Kapron, A. L., Peters, C. L., & Anderson, A. E. (2014). Correlations between the alpha angle and femoral head asphericity: Implications and recommendations for the diagnosis of cam femoroacetabular impingement. European Journal of Radiology, 83(5), 788-96.
Rights Management (c) Elsevier ; Authors manuscript from Harris, M. D., Kapron, A. L., Peters, C. L., & Anderson, A. E. (2014). Correlations between the alpha angle and femoral head asphericity: Implications and recommendations for the diagnosis of cam femoroacetabular impingement. European Journal of Radiology, 83(5), 788-96. http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1016/j.ejrad.2014.02.005
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,847,479 bytes
Identifier uspace,18506
ARK ark:/87278/s6hq780c
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2014-04-11
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 712264
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6hq780c
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