Six major and seven minor diagnostic criteria have been developed by the Japanese Investigation Committee for osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH). We have carried out a multicentre study to clarify these.
We studied prospectively 277 hips in 222 patients, from six hospitals, who had ONFH and other hip pathology and from whom histological material was available. We identified five criteria with high specificity: 1) collapse of the femoral head without narrowing of the joint space or acetabular abnormality on radiographs, including the crescent sign; 2) demarcating sclerosis in the femoral head without narrowing or acetabular abnormality; 3) a ‘cold-in-hot’ appearance on the bone scan; 4) a low-intensity band on T1-weighted images (band pattern); and 5) evidence of trabecular and marrow necrosis on histological examination. With any combination of two of these criteria, the sensitivity and specificity of the diagnosis were 91% and 99%, respectively.
- Received August 17, 1998.
- Accepted November 19, 1998.
- © 1999 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery