The Lisbon Agreement on femoroacetabular impingement imaging-part 2: general issues, parameters, and reporting

Eur Radiol. 2021 Jul;31(7):4634-4651. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-07432-1. Epub 2021 Jan 7.


Objectives: Imaging assessment for the clinical management of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) is controversial because of a paucity of evidence-based guidance and notable variability among practitioners. Hence, expert consensus is needed because standardised imaging assessment is critical for clinical practice and research. We aimed to establish expert-based statements on FAI imaging by using formal methods of consensus building.

Methods: The Delphi method was used to formally derive consensus among 30 panel members from 13 countries. Forty-four questions were agreed upon, and relevant seminal literature was circulated and classified in major topics to produce answering statements. The level of evidence was noted for all statements, and panel members were asked to score their level of agreement (0-10). This is the second part of a three-part consensus series and focuses on 'General issues' and 'Parameters and reporting'.

Results: Forty-seven statements were generated and group consensus was reached for 45. Twenty-five statements pertaining to 'General issues' (9 addressing diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and postoperative imaging) and 'Parameters and reporting' (16 addressing femoral/acetabular parameters) were produced.

Conclusions: The available evidence was reviewed critically, recommended criteria for diagnostic imaging highlighted, and the roles/values of different imaging parameters assessed. Radiographic evaluation (AP pelvis and a Dunn 45° view) is the cornerstone of hip-imaging assessment and the minimum imaging study that should be performed when evaluating adult patients for FAI. In most cases, cross-sectional imaging is warranted because MRI is the 'gold standard' imaging modality for the comprehensive evaluation, differential diagnosis assessment, and FAI surgical planning.

Key points: • Diagnostic imaging for FAI is not standardised due to scarce evidence-based guidance on which imaging modalities and diagnostic criteria/parameters should be used. • Radiographic evaluation is the cornerstone of hip assessment and the minimum study that should be performed when assessing suspected FAI. Cross-sectional imaging is justified in most cases because MRI is the 'gold standard' modality for comprehensive FAI evaluation. • For acetabular morphology, coverage (Wiberg's angle and acetabular index) and version (crossover, posterior wall, and ischial spine signs) should be assessed routinely. On the femoral side, the head-neck junction morphology (α° and offset), neck morphology (NSA), and torsion should be assessed.

Keywords: Diagnostic imaging; Femoroacetabular impingement; Guideline; Hip; Orthopaedics.

MeSH terms

  • Acetabulum
  • Adult
  • Femoracetabular Impingement* / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur
  • Hip Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging