Can glenoid wear be accurately assessed using x-ray imaging? Evaluating agreement of x-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Walch classification

Michaela Kopka, Mitchell Fourman, Ashish Soni, Andrew C. Cordle, Albert Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The Walch classification is the most recognized means of assessing glenoid wear in preoperative planning for shoulder arthroplasty. This classification relies on advanced imaging, which is more expensive and less practical than plain radiographs. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the Walch classification could be accurately applied to x-ray images compared with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the gold standard. We hypothesized that x-ray images cannot adequately replace advanced imaging in the evaluation of glenoid wear. Methods: Preoperative axillary x-ray images and MRI scans of 50 patients assessed for shoulder arthroplasty were independently reviewed by 5 raters. Glenoid wear was individually classified according to the Walch classification using each imaging modality. The raters then collectively reviewed the MRI scans and assigned a consensus classification to serve as the gold standard. The κ coefficient was used to determine interobserver agreement for x-ray images and independent MRI reads, as well as the agreement between x-ray images and consensus MRI. Results: The inter-rater agreement for x-ray images and MRIs was “moderate” (κ = 0.42 and κ = 0.47, respectively) for the 5-category Walch classification (A1, A2, B1, B2, C) and “moderate” (κ = 0.54 and κ = 0.59, respectively) for the 3-category Walch classification (A, B, C). The agreement between x-ray images and consensus MRI was much lower: “fair-to-moderate” (κ = 0.21-0.51) for the 5-category and “moderate” (κ = 0.36-0.60) for the 3-category Walch classification. Discussion: The inter-rater agreement between x-ray images and consensus MRI is “fair-to-moderate.” This is lower than the previously reported reliability of the Walch classification using computed tomography scans. Accordingly, x-ray images are inferior to advanced imaging when assessing glenoid wear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1527-1532
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • glenohumeral arthritis
  • MRI
  • preoperative planning
  • shoulder arthroplasty
  • Walch classification
  • x-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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