Computerized image understanding system for reliable estimation of spinal curvature in idiopathic scoliosis

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Scientific Reports


Analysis of scoliosis requires thorough radiographic evaluation by spinal curvature estimation to completely assess the spinal deformity. Spinal curvature estimation gives orthopaedic surgeons an idea of severity of spinal deformity for therapeutic purposes. Manual intervention has always been an issue to ensure accuracy and repeatability. Computer assisted systems are semi-automatic and is still influenced by surgeon’s expertise. Spinal curvature estimation completely relies on accurate identification of required end vertebrae like superior end-vertebra, inferior end-vertebra and apical vertebra. In the present work, automatic extraction of spinal information central sacral line and medial axis by computerized image understanding system has been proposed. The inter-observer variability in the anatomical landmark identification is quantified using Kappa statistic. The resultant Kappa value computed between proposed algorithm and observer lies in the range 0.7 and 0.9, which shows good accuracy. Identification of the required end vertebra is automated by the extracted spinal information. Difference in inter and intra-observer variability for the state of the art computer assisted and proposed system are quantified in terms of mean absolute difference for the various types (Type-I, Type-II, Type-III, Type-IV, and Type-V) of scoliosis.



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