CT assessment of asymptomatic hip joints for the background of femoroacetabular impingement morphology

Diagn Interv Radiol. 2014 May-Jun;20(3):271-6. doi: 10.5152/dir.2013.13374.


Purpose: The purposes of this study were to assess the presence of cam and pincer morphology in asymptomatic individuals with a negative femoroacetabular impingement test, and to determine and compare the ranges of alpha angle using two measurement methods.

Materials and methods: In total, 68 consecutive patients who underwent abdominopelvic computed tomography (CT) for reasons other than hip problems were the patient population. Patients who had a positive femoroacetabular impingement test were excluded. Alpha angle measurements from axial oblique (AN) and radial reformat-based images (AR) from the anterior through the superior portion of the femoral head-neck junction, as well as femoral head-neck offset, center-edge angle, acetabular version angle measurements, and acetabular crossover sign assessment, were made.

Results: Overall prevalences of cam (increased alpha angle, decreased femoral head-neck offset) and pincer morphology (increased center-edge angle, decreased acetabular version) were 20.0%, 26.8%, 25.8%, and 10.2% of the hips, respectively. The mean AR ranged from 41.64° ± 4.23° to 48.13° ± 4.63°, whereas AN was 41.10° ± 4.44°. The values of AR were higher than AN, and the difference was statistically significant (P <0.001). The highest AR values were measured on images from the anterosuperior section of femoral head-neck junction.

Conclusion: In asymptomatic subjects, higher alpha angle values were obtained from radial reformatted images, specifically from the anterosuperior portion of the femoral head-neck junction compared with the axial oblique CT images. Other measurements used for the assessment of cam and pincer morphology can also be beyond the ranges that are considered normal in the general population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asymptomatic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / complications
  • Femoracetabular Impingement / diagnostic imaging*
  • Femur / anatomy & histology
  • Femur / pathology
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / complications
  • Osteoarthritis, Hip / pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*