Favourable alignment outcomes with MRI-based patient-specific instruments in total knee arthroplasty

Martijn G. M. Schotanus*, Elke Thijs, Marion Heijmans, Rein Vos, Nanne P. Kort

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose Patient-specific instruments (PSIs) are already in relatively common use, and their post-operative radiographic results are equal to those for total knee arthroplasty (TKA) with conventional instrumentation. PSI use requires a preoperative MRI scan, CT scan, or a combination of MRI and a long-leg standing radiograph. However, there is no consensus as to which of these modalities, MRI or CT, is the preferred imaging modality when performing TKA with PSIs. Methods This systematic literature review and meta-analysis studied the differences in alignment outliers between CT- and MRI-based PSI for TKA. A search of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, MED-LINE/PubMed and Embase was conducted, without restriction on date of publication. Only level I evidence studies written in English that included TKA with the use of MRI- and CT-based PSI were selected. A meta-analysis was then performed of the rate of outliers in the bio-mechanical axis and individual femoral and tibial component alignment. Where considerable heterogeneity among studies was present or the data did not provide sufficient information for performing the meta-analysis, a qualitative synthesis was undertaken. Results Twelve randomized controlled trials, studying 841 knees, were eligible for data extraction and meta-analysis. MRI-based PSI resulted in a significantly lower proportion of coronal plane outliers with regard to the lateral femoral component (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.30-0.89, P = 0.02), without significant heterogeneity (n.s.). There were no significant differences regarding the biomechanical axis or frontal femoral and individual tibial component alignment. Conclusion This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrate that alignment with MRI-based PSI is at least as good as, if not better than, that with CT-based PSI. To prevent for malalignment, MRI should be the imaging modality of choice when performing TKA surgery with PSI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2659-2668
Number of pages10
JournalKnee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • Patient-specific instruments, PSI
  • Conventional instruments
  • Total knee arthroplasty, TKA
  • MRI
  • CT
  • Long-leg standing radiograph
  • Alignment
  • Outliers
  • Meta-analysis
  • Systematic literature review
  • TKA


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