Rob C. Brink, Ludvig Vavruch, Tom P. C. Schlösser, Kasim Abul-Kasim, Acke Ohlin, Hans Tropp, René M. Castelein, Tomaž Vrtovec

March 2019, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 544 - 550 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-018-5718-6

First Online: 20 August 2018


The pelvic incidence (PI) is used to describe the sagittal spino-pelvic alignment. In previous studies, radiographs were used, leading to less accuracy in establishing the three-dimensional (3D) spino-pelvic parameters. The purpose of this study is to analyze the differences in the 3D sagittal spino-pelvic alignment in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) subjects and non-scoliotic controls.


Thirty-seven female AIS patients that underwent preoperative supine low-dose computed tomography imaging of the spine, hips and pelvis as part of their general workup were included and compared to 44 non-scoliotic age-matched female controls. A previously validated computerized method was used to measure the PI in 3D, as the angle between the line orthogonal to the inclination of the sacral endplate and the line connecting the center of the sacral endplate with the hip axis.


The PI was on average 46.8° ± 12.4° in AIS patients and 41.3° ± 11.4° in controls (p = 0.025), with a higher PI in Lenke type 5 curves (50.6° ± 16.2°) as compared to controls (p = 0.042), whereas the Lenke type 1 curves (45.9° ± 12.2°) did not differ from controls (p = 0.141).


Lenke type 5 curves show a significantly higher PI than controls, whereas the Lenke type 1 curves did not differ from controls. This suggests a role of pelvic morphology and spino-pelvic alignment in the pathogenesis of idiopathic scoliosis. Further longitudinal studies should explore the exact role of the PI in the initiation and progression of different AIS types.

Graphical abstract

These slides can be retrieved under Electronic Supplementary Material.[Figure not available: see fulltext.]

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