BACKGROUND Pelvic incidence (PI) has been linked to several degenerative processes within the spinopelvic system. Acetabular retroversion is a recognised risk factor for osteoarthritis of the hip. We therefore hypothesised that these two factors might be part of a specific anatomical variant associated with degenerative changes. This study was performed to clarify this issue. METHODS The pelvic incidence was measured on 589 computertomographical data sets acquired between 2008 and 2010. For 220 patients a 2D rendering in an antero-posterior view of the CT data set was performed to evaluate the parameters of acetabular retroversion. Those included the prominence of the ischial spine sign (PRISS), the cross-over sign (COS) and the posterior wall sign (PWS). Between 477 and 478 hips were evaluated depending on the parameter of retroversion. RESULTS The mean pelvic incidence was significantly lower in hips positive for the PRISS and the PWS. However, there were no significant differences between hips positive or negative for the COS. DISCUSSION As hypothesised, the lower PI values in PWS and PRISS positive hips suggest a link between PI and retroversion of the acetabulum. Whether this is of any clinical relevance remains, however, unknown. CONCLUSION Acetabular retroversion is linked to PI. In hips where the prominence of the ischial spine sign and/or the posterior wall sign was present, the mean pelvic incidence value was lower.