Roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis (RSA) is used to measure early prosthetic migration and to predict future implant failure. RSA has several disadvantages, such as the need for perioperatively inserted tantalum markers. Therefore, this study evaluates low-field MRI as an alternative to RSA. The use of traditional MRI with prostheses induces disturbing metal artifacts which are reduced by low-field MRI. The purpose of this study is to assess the feasibility to use low-field (0.25 Tesla) MRI for measuring the precision of zero motion. This was assessed by calculating the virtual prosthetic motion of a zero-motion prosthetic reconstruction in multiple scanning sessions. Furthermore, the effects of different registration methods on these virtual motions were tested.
The precision of zero motion for low-field MRI was between 0.584 mm and 1.974 mm for translation and 0.884° and 3.774° for rotation. The manual registration method seemed most accurate, with μ ≤ 0.13 mm (σ ≤ 0.931 mm) for translation and μ ≤ 0.15° (σ ≤ 1.63°) for rotation.
Low-field MRI is not yet as precise as today’s golden standard (marker based RSA) as reported in the literature. However, low-field MRI is feasible of measuring the relative position of bone and implant with comparable precision as obtained with marker-free RSA techniques. Of the three registration methods tested, manual registration was most accurate. Before starting clinical validation further research is necessary and should focus on improving scan sequences and registration algorithms.