Claudio Vergari, Laurent Gajny, Isabelle Courtois, Eric Ebermeyer, Kariman Abelin-Genevois, Youngwoo Kim, Tristan Langlais, Raphael Vialle, Ayman Assi, Ismat Ghanem, Jean Dubousset, Wafa Skalli

August 2019, Volume 28, Issue 9, pp 1970 - 1976 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-019-05998-z

First Online: 10 May 2019

Quasi-automatic early detection of progressive idiopathic scoliosis from biplanar radiography: a preliminary validation


To validate the predictive power and reliability of a novel quasi-automatic method to calculate the severity index of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS).


Fifty-five AIS patients were prospectively included (age 10–15, Cobb 16° ± 4°). Patients underwent low-dose biplanar X-rays, and a novel fast method for 3D reconstruction of the spine was performed. They were followed until skeletal maturity (stable patients) or brace prescription (progressive patients). The severity index was calculated at the first examination, based on 3D parameters of the scoliotic curve, and it was compared with the patient’s final outcome (progressive or stable). Three operators have repeated the 3D reconstruction twice for a subset of 30 patients to assess reproducibility (through Cohen’s kappa and intra-class correlation coefficient).


Eighty-five percentage of the patients were correctly classified as stable or progressive by the severity index, with a sensitivity of 92% and specificity of 74%. Substantial intra-operator agreement and good inter-operator agreement were observed, with 80% of the progressive patients correctly detected at the first examination. The novel severity index assessment took less than 4 min of operator time.


The fast and semiautomatic method for 3D reconstruction developed in this work allowed for a fast and reliable calculation of the severity index. The method is fast and user friendly. Once extensively validated, this severity index could allow very early initiation of conservative treatment for progressive patients, thus increasing treatment efficacy and therefore reducing the need for corrective surgery.

Graphical abstract

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

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