Measurement Accuracy in Congenital Scoliosis
Fernando A.M. Facanha-Filho, MD; Robert B. Winter, MD; John E. Lonstein, MD; Steven Koop, MD; Thomas Novacheck, MD; E. A. L’Heureux, JrMD; Cheryl A. Noren, ART

Abstract

Background:

The accuracy of measurement of curves in idiopathic scoliosis has been extensively studied; however, we know of only one article in the literature concerning the accuracy of measurement of curves in congenital scoliosis. That article stated that intraobserver variability was ± 9.6° and interobserver variability was ± 11.8°.

Methods:

Sixty-nine curves in fifty patients with congenital scoliosis were measured on two separate occasions by seven different observers with varying experience in curve measurement.

Results:

Mean intraobserver variance ranged from 1.9° to 5.0°, with an average of 2.8° (95% confidence limit, ± 3°) for the seven observers. The interobserver variance was 3.35° (95% confidence limit, 7.86°).

Conclusions:

It is possible to measure curves in congenital scoliosis with much greater accuracy than previously reported. In the clinical situation in which a skilled observer can measure two radiographs at the same time, an accuracy of ± 3° can be expected 95% of the time.

Footnotes

  • Investigation performed at Twin Cities Spine Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  • No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. No funds were received in support of this study.


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