A new computed tomography-based radiographic method to detect early loosening of total wrist implants

Olivecrona, H.; Noz, M. E.; Maguire, G. Q.; Zeleznik, M. P.; Sollerman, C.; Olivecrona, L.; Maguire, G Q Jr
November 2007
Acta Radiologica;Nov2007, Vol. 48 Issue 9, p997
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Diagnosis of loosening of total wrist implants is usually late using routine radiographs. Switching modality to computed tomography (CT) should aid in early diagnosis. Purpose: To propose and evaluate the accuracy of a new CT method for assessing loosening of the carpal component in total wrist arthroplasty. Material and Methods: A protocol encompassing volume registration of paired CT scans of patients with unexplained pain in a prosthetically replaced wrist (used in clinical routine) is presented. Scans are acquired as a dynamic examination under torsional load. Using volume registration, the carpal component of the prosthesis is brought into spatial alignment. After registration, prosthetic loosening is diagnosed by a shift in position of the bones relative to the prosthesis. This study is a preclinical validation of this method using a human cadaverous arm with a cemented total wrist implant and tantalum markers. Seven CT scans of the arm were acquired. The scans were combined into 21 pairs of CT volumes. The carpal component was registered in each scan pair, and the residual mismatch of the surrounding tantalum markers and bone was analyzed both visually and numerically. Results: The detection limit for prosthetic movement was less than 1 mm. Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate that CT volume registration holds promise to improve detection of movement of the carpal component at an earlier stage than is obtainable with plain radiography.


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