Diagnostic accuracy of limited MRI protocols for detecting radiographically occult hip fractures: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Mitchell P. Wilson, Dorian Nobbee, Mohammad H. Murad, Suki Dhillon, Matthew D.F. McInnes, Prayash Katlariwala, Gavin Low

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of limited MRI protocols for detecting radiographically occult proximal femoral fractures. MATERIALS AND METHODS. A systematic review of MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, the Cochrane Library, and the gray literature through November 15, 2019, was performed. Original articles with 10 or more patients evaluating limited MRI protocols for the diagnosis of radiographically occult proximal femoral fractures compared with multiparametric MRI with or without clinical outcome as the reference standard were included in the analysis. Patient, clinical, MRI, and performance parameters were independently acquired by two reviewers. Meta-analysis was performed using a bivariate mixed-effects regression model. RESULTS. Eleven studies with 938 patients and 247 proximal femoral fractures met inclusion criteria, and five of these studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled and weighted summary sensitivity and specificity and the area under the summary ROC curve for limited MRI protocols in detecting radiographically occult hip fractures were 99% (95% CI, 91–100%), 99% (95% CI, 97–100%), and 1 (95% CI, 0.99–1), respectively. The aggregate sensitivity and specificity values for a single-plane T1-weighted sequence only, STIR sequence only, T1-weighted and STIR sequences, and T2-weighted sequence only were as follows: 97% (89/92) and 100% (76/76), 99% (126/127) and 99% (865/873), 100% (118/118) and 99% (867/874), and 86% (51/59) and 97% (137/141), respectively. Sensitivity was 100% (58/58) when images were acquired on 3-T scanners only and 99% (284/288) when interpreted only by certified radiologists. The mean scanning time for the limited MRI protocols was less than 5 minutes. CONCLUSION. Limited MRI protocols can be used as the standard of care in patients with a suspected but radiographically occult hip fracture. A protocol composed of coronal T1-weighted and STIR sequences is 100% sensitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-567
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Accuracy
  • Bone
  • Fracture
  • Hip
  • MRI
  • Occult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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