Youping Tao, Fabio Galbusera, Frank Niemeyer, René Jonas, Dino Samartzis, Daniel Vogele, Hans-Joachim Wilke


September 2021, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 2434 - 2442 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06933-x

First Online: 30 July 2021

Purpose

To clarify the relative influence of age, sex, disc height loss and T1 slope on upper (Occiput-C2) and lower cervical lordosis (C2–C7).

Methods

Standing lateral cervical radiographs of 865 adult subjects were evaluated. The presence and severity of disc height loss from C2/C3 to C6/C7 (a total of 4325 discs) were assessed using a validated grading system. The total disc height loss score for each subject was calculated as the sum of the score of each disc space. Sagittal radiographic parameters included: occipital slope, occiput-C2 (Oc-C2) lordosis, C2–C7 lordosis and T1 slope. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to examine the relative influence of the multiple factors on upper and lower cervical lordosis.

Results

This study included 360 males and 505 females, with a mean age of 40.2 ± 16.0 years (range, 20–95 years). Linear multivariate regression analyses showed that greater age, male sex, greater T1 slope were each found to be significantly and independently associated with greater C2–C7 lordosis, whereas total disc height loss score was negatively associated with C2–C7 lordosis. T1 slope had the most independent influence on C2–C7 lordosis among these factors. Age, sex and disc height loss were not independently associated with Oc-C2 lordosis.

Conclusions

Results from our large-scale radiologic analysis may enhance the understanding of the factors that affect cervical lordosis, indicating that age, sex, disc height loss and T1 slope were each independently associated with C2–C7 lordosis. However, age, sex and disc height loss were not independently associated with upper cervical lordosis.


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