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Multiple input multiple output-orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MIMO-OFDM) systems can provide significant space diversity and combat multi-path fading, thus attracting increasing attention for the design of future broadband wireless communication systems. One enhancement technique commonly used in such systems is adaptive modulation and coding (AMC) for link adaptation. With AMC, the modulation and coding scheme (MCS) is adaptively selected based on channel quality indication (CQI). In this paper, we give a comprehensive analysis of mapping between signal to interference plus noise ratio (SINR) fed beck by the mobile station and MCS to be used to transmit dada, while taking into account hybrid ARQ (HARQ) operation. Then we apply such mapping criteria to MIMO-OFDM systems and develop a systematic algorithm for MCS selection to maximize the system throughput. The performance of the proposed approach is evaluated by extensive system level simulation. Results indicate that compared to traditional MCS selection schemes significant system throughput gain can be achieved by this method.