C. M. M. Peeters, G. J. F. J. Bos, D. H. R. Kempen, P. C. Jutte, C. Faber, F. H. Wapstra

October 2022, pp 1 - 9 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07326-4

First Online: 15 October 2022


Knowledge about spinal length and subsequently growth of each individual patient with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) helps with accurate timing of both conservative and surgical treatment. Radiographs taken by a biplanar low-dose X-ray device (EOS) have no divergence in the vertical plane and can provide three-dimensional (3D) measurements. Therefore, this study investigated the criterion validity and reliability of EOS spinal length measurements in AIS patients.


Prior to routine EOS radiograph, a radiographic calibrated metal beads chain (MBC) was attached on the back of 120 patients with AIS to calibrate the images. Spinal lengths were measured from vertebra to vertebra on EOS anteroposterior (AP), lateral view and on the combined 3D EOS view (EOS 3D). These measurements were compared with MBC length measurements. Secondly, intra- and interobserver reliability of length measurements on EOS-images were determined.


50 patients with accurately positioned MBC were included for analysis. The correlations between EOS and MBC were highest for the 3D length measurements. Compared to EOS 3D measurements, the total spinal length was systematically measured 4.3% (mean difference = 1.97 ± 1.12 cm) and 1.9% (mean difference = 0.86 ± 0.63 cm) smaller on individual EOS two-dimensional (2D) AP and lateral view images, respectively. Both intra- and interobserver reliability were excellent for all length measurements on EOS-images.


The results of this study indicate a good validity and reliability for spinal length measurements on EOS radiographs in AIS patients. EOS 3D length measure method is preferred above spinal length measurements on individual EOS AP or lateral view images.

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