Slipped capital femoral epiphysis: A physeal lesion diagnosed by MRI, with radiographic and CT correlation

Hilary Umans, Melissa S. Liebling, Linda Moy, Nogah Haramati, Neil J. Macy, Henry A. Pritzker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Objective. To define and compare early lesions associated with slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and radiography. Design and patients. Thirteen patients with 15 symptomatic hips due to SCFE underwent radiography and MRI; CT was performed in 12 patients. SCFE was graded on radiographs, head/neck angles and qualitative changes were evaluated on CT: and morphologic/signal abnormalities were determined on MRI. Results. Physeal widening, apparent on T1-weighted MRI, was evident in every case of SCFE, including one presumed 'pre-slip.' T2-weighted images demonstrated synovitis and marrow edema but obscured physeal abnormalities. CT head/neck angles ranged from 4-57°for symptomatic to 0-14°for asymptomatic hips. Physeal and metaphyseal changes were variably identified on both radiographs and CT in all cases of SCFE, but not in the pre-slip. Conclusion. MRI clearly delineates physeal changes of both pre-slip and SCFE, and demonstrates very early changes at a time when radiographs and CT may appear normal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-144
Number of pages6
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Physis
  • Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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