The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 9 , 2906 - 2911

Indications for MARS-MRI in Patients Treated With Articular Surface Replacement XL Total Hip Arthroplasty

Connelly, James W. et al.


The purpose of this study was to identify which patient and clinical factors are predictive of adverse local tissue reaction (ALTR) and to use these factors to create a highly sensitive algorithm for indicating metal artifact reduction sequence magnetic resonance imaging (MARS-MRI) in Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) XL total hip arthroplasty patients. Our secondary aim was to compare our algorithm to existing national guidelines on when to take MARS-MRI in metal-on-metal total hip arthroplasty patients.


The study consisted of 137 patients treated with unilateral ASR XL implants from a prospective, multicenter study. Patients underwent MARS-MRI regardless of clinical presentation at a mean of 6.2 (range, 3.3-10.4) years from surgery. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to determine which variables were predictive of ALTR. Predictors were used to create an algorithm to indicate MARS-MRI. Finally, we compared our algorithm’s ability to detect ALTR to existing guidelines.


We found a visual analog scale pain score ≥2 (odds ratio [OR] = 2.53; P = .023), high blood cobalt (OR = 1.05; P = .023), and male gender (OR = 2.37; P = .034) to be significant predictors of ALTR presence in our cohort. The resultant algorithm achieved 86.4% sensitivity and 60.2% specificity in detecting ALTR within our cohort. Our algorithm had the highest area under the curve and was the only guideline that was significantly predictive of ALTR (P = .014).


Our algorithm including patient-reported pain and sex-specific cutoffs for blood cobalt levels could predict ALTR and indicate MARS-MRI in our cohort of ASR XL metal-on-metal patients with high sensitivity.

Level of Evidence

Level II, diagnostic study.

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