Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 645–654 | Cite as

Herniation pits and cystic-appearing lesions at the anterior femoral neck: an anatomical study by MSCT and µCT

  • Stephanie Panzer
  • Ulrich Esch
  • Ahmed Nabil Abdulazim
  • Peter Augat
Scientific Article



To determine distinguishing features between herniation pits (HPs) and other cystic-appearing lesions at the anterior femoral neck in multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) and micro-computed tomography (microCT) examinations.

Materials and methods

Institutional review board approval was obtained to examine 37 proximal femora of 23 cadaveric specimens (mean age available in 19 cadavers, 83 years; range 68–100 years; 9 female, 8 male, 6 unknown). All 37 femora were investigated by MSCT. 23 femora, which revealed cystic-appearing lesions at the anterior femoral neck in MSCT examinations, were additionally examined by microCT. Cystic-appearing lesions were categorized by their location, sclerotic margin, demarcation and shape in MSCT with assessment of inter-observer agreement. Detailed cortical and trabecular properties were evaluated in microCT examinations.


There were seven HPs in three femora. There were a number of abnormalities potentially imitating HPs, including focal osteoporosis (13 in 13 femora), degenerative changes (5 in 4 femora) and trabecular restructuring (5 in 4 femora) at the anterior femoral neck. HPs were differentiated on the basis of their subchondral/subcortical location, completely surrounding sclerosis, clear demarcation and round-to-oval shape in MSCT. Because of their location and their microscopic appearance, HPs seem to resemble intra-osseous ganglia at the anterior femoral neck.


HPs have to be differentiated from other cystic appearing lesions at the anterior femoral neck to avoid overestimation of their incidence in the context of diagnosis of femoroacetabular impingement.


Spiral computed tomography Bone cysts Ganglion cyst Femur neck Hip joint 



The authors thank Prof. Dr. Reinhard Putz and Prof. Dr. Magdalena Müller-Gerbl, Department of Anatomy, LMU Munich, Germany, for providing the anatomical specimens and Julia Körber, Institute of Biomechanics, Trauma Center Murnau for proofreading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© ISS 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Panzer
    • 1
  • Ulrich Esch
    • 1
  • Ahmed Nabil Abdulazim
    • 2
  • Peter Augat
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyTrauma Center MurnauMurnauGermany
  2. 2.Biomechanics LaboratoryParacelsus University Salzburg and Trauma Center MurnauMurnauGermany

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