The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 34 , Issue 1 , 169 - 174.e1

Etiologic Classification Criteria of ARCO on Femoral Head Osteonecrosis Part 2: Alcohol-Associated Osteonecrosis

Yoon, Byung-Ho et al.


Although alcohol is a leading risk factor for osteonecrosis of the femoral head (ONFH) and its prevalence reportedly ranges from 20% to 45%, there are no unified classification criteria for this subpopulation. In 2015, Association Research Circulation Osseous decided to develop classification criteria for alcohol-associated ONFH.


In June of 2017, Association Research Circulation Osseous formed a task force to conduct a Delphi survey. The task force invited 28 experts in osteonecrosis/bone circulation from 8 countries. Each round of the Delphi survey included questionnaires, analysis of replies, and feedback reports to the panel. After 3 rounds of the survey, consensus was reached on the classification criteria. The response rates for the 3 Delphi rounds were 100% (round 1), 96% (round 2), and 100% (round 3).


The consensus on the classification criteria of alcohol-associated ONFH included the following: (1) patients should have a history of alcohol intake >400 mL/wk (320 g/wk, any type of alcoholic beverage) of pure ethanol for more than 6 months; (2) ONFH should be diagnosed within 1 year after alcohol intake of this dose; and (3) patients should not have other risk factor(s).


ARCO-established classification criteria to standardize clinical studies concerning AA-ONFH.

Download article