Radiographic prediction of lunate morphology in Asians using plain radiographic and capitate-triquetrum distance analyses: Reliability and compatibility with magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) findings

Ji Hun Park, Tae Wook Kang, Jimi Choi, Seul Gi Kim, Kyung Sik Ahn, Jong Woong Park

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Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of plain radiographic methods of determining the lunate type and its compatibility with magnetic resonance arthrography (MRA) findings. Methods: Plain radiographs of a total of 150 wrists were reviewed by three observers. Lunate types were evaluated using both conventional posteroanterior (PA) radiographic analysis and the capitate-triquetrum distance (CTD) analysis. Cohen kappa and Fleiss kappa statistics were used to estimate intra- and inter-observer reliabilities. Compatibility with the MRA findings, as assessed by each observer, was investigated. Results: The overall intra-observer reliability was 0.517 for the analysis and 0.589 for the CTD analysis. The overall inter-observer agreement was 0.448 for the PA radiographic analysis and 0.581 for the CTD analysis. The PA radiographic analysis and MRA findings for the detection of medial lunate facets were compatible in 119 of the 150 patients (79.3%). Twenty-eight (90.3%) of the 31 incompatible wrists had a medial facet on MRA (Type II), which was not detected in the PA radiographic analysis. In the CTD analysis, the results for 27 of 29 Type II lunates (93.1%) and 39 of 45 Type I lunates (86.7%) were compatible with the MRA. Conclusions: This study suggests that predicting the lunate type by plain radiographs alone is insufficient, as both radiographic analyses showed moderate intra- and inter-observer reliabilities. Although both radiographic analyses showed good compatibility with the MRA for Type II lunates, clinicians should be alert to undetected medial facets in Type I lunates on PA radiographic analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number128
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 27



  • Lunate morphology
  • Lunate type
  • Medial hamate facet
  • MR arthrography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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