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This paper proposes an adaptive modulation (AM) algorithm for multiple-input multiple-output orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (MIMO-OFDM) systems with Vertical Bell Laboratories Layered Space-Time (V-BLAST) and orthogonal-triangular decomposition (QR) detection firstly. Then performance analysis is derived in closed form. Simulation results show that the theoretic bit error rate (BER) and spectral efficiency are very accordant to the simulated ones, respectively. Through the simulation, it is also seen that the adaptive modulation algorithm can improve not only the spectral efficiency but also the BER performance, remarkably.