Objective To determine the prevalence of radiographic patellofemoral osteoarthritis (OA) from population- and symptom-based cohorts and to evaluate if knee pain, physical function and quality of life (QOL) differ between people with isolated patellofemoral OA, isolated tibiofemoral OA and combined patellofemoral and tibiofemoral OA. Method Terms associated with ���patellofemoral OA���, ���prevalence��� and ���clinical features��� were used to search Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, SCOPUS, AMED and Web of Science databases with no language restriction��� from inception to August 2014. Two independent reviewers screened papers for eligibility. Studies were included if they reported prevalence of compartmental patterns of radiographic knee OA in population- or symptom-based cohorts. Studies were excluded if they evaluated a targeted sample (e.g., occupation-specific participants) or repeated already reported data from the same cohorts. Point prevalence estimates of patellofemoral OA were extracted from eligible studies, pooled and quantitatively analysed. A critical appraisal tool was used to evaluate methodological quality. Results The search yielded 1891 records. The inclusion criteria were met by 32 studies. The crude prevalence of patellofemoral OA was 25% in the population-based cohorts (aged >20 years) and 39% in the symptom-based cohorts (aged >30 years). Eight studies reported knee pain, physical function and QOL in people with different compartmental disease; however no significant differences were found. Conclusion These findings confirm the substantial prevalence of patellofemoral OA, demonstrating the need to specifically consider the patellofemoral joint in knee OA research and clinical settings.