Osteochondritis dissecans of the capitellum: lesion size and pattern analysis using quantitative 3-dimensional computed tomography and mapping technique

Rens Bexkens*, Jacobien H. Oosterhoff, Tsung Yuan Tsai, Job N. Doornberg, Michel P.J. van den Bekerom, Denise Eygendaal, Luke S. Oh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The goals of this study were to evaluate the reliability of a quantitative 3-dimensional computed tomography (Q3DCT) technique for measurement of the capitellar osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) surface area, to analyze OCD distribution using a mapping technique, and to investigate associations between Q3DCT lesion quantification and demographic characteristics and/or clinical examination findings. Methods We identified patients with capitellar OCD who presented to our orthopedic sports medicine practice between January 2001 and January 2016 and who had undergone a preoperative computed tomography scan (slice thickness ≤1.25 mm). A total of 17 patients with a median age of 15 years (range, 12-23 years) were included in this study. Three-dimensional polygon models were reconstructed after osseous structures were marked in 3 planes. Surface areas of the OCD lesion as well as the capitellum were measured. Observer agreement was assessed with the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Heat maps were created to visualize OCD distribution. Results Measurements of the OCD surface area showed almost perfect intraobserver agreement (ICC, 0.99; confidence interval [CI], 0.98-0.99) and interobserver agreement (ICC, 0.93; CI, 0.86-0.97). Measurements of the capitellar surface area also showed almost perfect intraobserver agreement (ICC, 0.97;CI, 0.91-0.99) and interobserver agreement (ICC, 0.86; CI, 0.46-0.96). The median OCD surface area was 101 mm2 (range, 49-217 mm2). On the basis of OCD heat mapping, the posterolateral zone of the capitellum was most frequently affected. OCDs in which the lateral wall was involved were associated with larger lesion size (P =.041), longer duration of symptoms (P =.030), and worse elbow extension (P =.013). Conclusions The ability to quantify the capitellar OCD surface area and lesion location in a reliable manner using Q3DCT and a mapping technique should be considered when detailed knowledge of lesion size and location is desired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1629-1635
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-dimensional
  • capitellum
  • computed tomography
  • elbow
  • mapping
  • Osteochondritis dissecans


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