Sulcus Angle, Trochlear Depth, and Dejour’s Classification Can Be Reliably Applied To Evaluate Trochlear Dysplasia: A Systematic Review of Radiological Measurements

Published:October 05, 2022DOI:


      To summarize data on the reliability of available imaging criteria for the assessment of trochlear dysplasia and to assess the methodological quality of the included studies.


      This systematic review was conducted following the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guideline. Search was performed using major electronic databases from their inception to September 2021. All studies enrolling patients of any age who underwent a radiological exam to rule out features related to trochlear dysplasia were included. After the identification of available imaging criteria, reliability studies were analyzed. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize findings. Methodological quality was assessed using the Quality Appraisal of Reliability studies checklist.


      A total of 2391 articles were identified, and 33 articles comprising 3036 patients with a mean age of 28.6 years were included. Thirty different measurements were extracted. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was the most used imaging modalities (21 studies), followed by computed tomography (10 studies), conventional radiology (8 studies) and ultrasonography (US) (1 study). Sulcus angle, trochlear depth, and Dejour’s classification were the most explored measurements. Overall, sulcus angle can be reliably assessed on radiography, CT and MRI, whereas trochlear depth can be reliably measured only with CT and MRI. Reliability of Dejour’s classification ranged from poor or fair to very good for all imaging modalities. Methodological quality of included studies varied from 2 to 9 positive items out of 11 possible. Twenty-four studies (72.7%) were considered at high risk of bias.


      Trochlear dysplasia can be reliably evaluated at least with 3 measurements: sulcus angle, trochlear depth and Dejour’s classification. Methodological quality assessment showed high risk of bias in most included studies.

      Level of evidence

      Level III, systematic review of Level II-III studies.
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