Conventional scoring methods for radiographic hip OA (rHOA) are subjective and show inconsistent relationships with clinical outcomes. To provide a more objective rHOA scoring method, we aimed to develop a semi-automated classifier based on DXA images and confirm its relationships with clinical outcomes.
Hip DXAs in UK Biobank (UKB) were marked up for osteophyte area from which acetabular, superior and inferior femoral head osteophyte grades were derived. Joint space narrowing (JSN) grade was obtained automatically from minimum joint space width (mJSW) measures. Clinical outcomes related to rHOA comprised hip pain, hospital diagnosed OA (HES OA) and total hip replacement. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard modelling were used to examine associations between overall rHOA grade (0–4; derived from combining osteophyte and JSN grades) and the clinical outcomes.
A toal of 40 340 individuals were included in the study (mean age 63.7), of whom 81.2% had no evidence of rHOA, while 18.8% had grade ≥1 rHOA. Grade ≥1 osteophytes at each location and JSN were associated with hip pain, HES OA and total hip replacement. Associations with all three clinical outcomes increased progressively according to rHOA grade, with grade 4 rHOA and total hip replacement showing the strongest association [57.70 (38.08–87.44)].
Our novel semi-automated tool provides a useful means for classifying rHOA on hip DXAs, given its strong and progressive relationships with clinical outcomes. These findings suggest DXA scanning can be used to classify rHOA in large DXA-based cohort studies supporting further research, with the future potential for population-based screening.