Navicular bone position determined by positional MRI: a reproducibility study



To examine intraobserver, interobserver and between-day reproducibility of positional MRI for evaluation of navicular bone height (NVH) and medial navicular position (MNP).

Materials and methods

Positional MRI (pMRI) of the foot was performed on ten healthy participants (0.25 T G-scanner). Scanning was performed in supine and standing position, respectively. Two radiologists evaluated the images in a blinded manner. Reliability and agreement were assessed by calculation of intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and 95 % limits of agreement as a percentage of the mean (LOA%).


Intraobserver and interobserver reliability was “substantial” in both supine and standing position (ICC 0.86–0.98) and showed good agreement (LOA% 4.9–14.7 %). Between-day reliability of navicular height and medial navicular position in standing position remained substantial (ICC 0.85–0.92) with adequate agreement (LOA% 8.3–19.8 %). In supine position between-day reliability was “moderate” for NVH (ICC 0.72) and “slight” for MNP (ICC 0.39). Agreement remained adequate between-days for MNP in supine position (LOA% 17.7 %), but it was less than adequate for NVH in supine position (LOA% 24.2 %).


Navicular height and medial navicular position can be measured by pMRI in a very reproducible manner within and between observers. Increased measurement variation is observed between-days in supine position, which may be due to small positional differences or other unknown biomechanical factors.

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The Danish Council for Independent Research (Det Frie Forskningsråd), the Danish Rheumatism Association (Gigtforeningen) and the OAK Foundation have kindly provided grants supporting the study. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. We wish to acknowledge professor Marius Henriksen for fruitful discussions during preparation of the manuscript and research technologist Rasmus Bouert for technical assistance. Esaote SpA, Genoa, Italy has kindly provided technical support to optimize the pMRI protocol design.

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Correspondence to Philip Hansen.

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No external funding source was used for this study.

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No conflict of interest. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Philip Hansen and Finn E. Johannsen share first authorship

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Hansen, P., Johannsen, F.E., Hangaard, S. et al. Navicular bone position determined by positional MRI: a reproducibility study. Skeletal Radiol 45, 205–211 (2016).

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  • Navicular bone
  • Positional MRI
  • Weight-bearing MRI
  • Plantar arch
  • Foot posture
  • Reproducibility
  • Reliability
  • Agreement