Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 103–108 | Cite as

Diagnostic accuracy of an abbreviated MRI protocol for detecting radiographically occult hip and pelvis fractures in the elderly

  • Andrew B. RossEmail author
  • Brian Y. Chan
  • Paul H. Yi
  • Michael D. Repplinger
  • David J. Vanness
  • Kenneth S. Lee
Scientific Article



To determine the diagnostic accuracy of an abbreviated, two-sequence MRI protocol using limited pulse sequences for the detection of radiographically occult hip and pelvis fractures in the elderly compared to the complete MRI examination.

Materials and methods

One hundred and eleven consecutive emergency department patients age 65 or older who had undergone MRI to evaluate for clinically suspected hip fracture after negative radiographs were included in the study. The large field-of-view coronal T1 and STIR sequences were isolated from the complete six-sequence MRI protocol and reviewed independently in a blinded fashion by two musculoskeletal fellowship-trained radiologists who recorded presence or absence of fractures of the proximal femora or pelvis, fracture type, and presence or absence of soft tissue injury. Test accuracy was calculated with 95% confidence intervals and accuracy of fracture classification for the abbreviated protocol was compared to that made on the basis of the full exam.


For proximal femoral fractures, the abbreviated protocol had a pooled sensitivity and specificity for the two readers of 100 and 97%, respectively. For pelvic fractures, sensitivity was 92% and specificity was 98%. The kappa coefficient for fracture classification was 0.90 for reader 1 and 0.88 for reader 2, indicating excellent agreement for both readers in fracture classification compared to the classification made based on the complete MRI protocol.


An abbreviated MRI protocol that includes only coronal T1 and STIR sequences maintains high sensitivity and specificity for hip and pelvis fracture detection and fracture classification.


Osteoporotic fractures Hip fractures Magnetic resonance imaging Sensitivity and specificity 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Society of Skeletal Radiology for the support of this research with the SSR Seed Grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no related conflicts of interest. KL reports unrelated grant funding from the National Basketball Association, General Electric, RSNA Scholar Grant (RSCH1317), and Mitek and unrelated royalty income from Elsevier.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Population Health SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA

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