Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess a radiographic method for spinal curvature evaluation in children, based on spinous processes, and identify its normality limits.
Methods: The sample consisted of 90 radiographic examinations of the spines of children in the sagittal plane. Thoracic and lumbar curvatures were evaluated using angular (apex angle [AA]) and linear (sagittal arrow [SA]) measurements based on the spinous processes. The same curvatures were also evaluated using the Cobb angle (CA) method, which is considered the gold standard. For concurrent validity (AA vs CA), Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient, root-mean-square error, Pitman- Morgan test, and Bland-Altman analysis were used. For reproducibility (AA, SA, and CA), the intraclass correlation coefficient, standard error of measurement, and minimal detectable change measurements were used.
Results: A significant correlation was found between CA and AA measurements, as was a low root-mean-square error. The mean difference between the measurements was 0° for thoracic and lumbar curvatures, and the mean standard deviations of the differences were ±5.9° and 6.9°, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficients of AA and SA were similar to or higher than the gold standard (CA). The standard error of measurement and minimal detectable change of the AA were always lower than the CA.
Conclusion: This study determined the concurrent validity, as well as intra- and interrater reproducibility, of the radiographic measurements of kyphosis and lordosis in children.
Author keywords: Kyphosis; Lordosis; Radiographic Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
Author affiliations: All authors: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. Physical Education Department (Brazil/ Rio Grande do Sul / Porto Alegre)
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