Model-based registration for assessment of spinal deformities in idiopathic scoliosis

Daniel Forsberg, Claes Lundström, Mats Andersson, Hans Knutsson
Physics in Medicine and Biology, Volume 59, Number 2, page 311--326 - 2014
Detailed analysis of spinal deformity is important within orthopaedic healthcare, in particular for assessment of idiopathic scoliosis. This paper addresses this challenge by proposing an image analysis method, capable of providing a full three-dimensional spine characterization. The proposed method is based on the registration of a highly detailed spine model to image data from computed tomography. The registration process provides an accurate segmentation of each individual vertebra and the ability to derive various measures describing the spinal deformity. The derived measures are estimated from landmarks attached to the spine model and transferred to the patient data according to the registration result. Evaluation of the method provides an average point-to-surface error of 0.9 mm ± 0.9 (comparing segmentations), and an average target registration error of 2.3 mm ± 1.7 (comparing landmarks). Comparing automatic and manual measurements of axial vertebral rotation provides a mean absolute difference of 2.5° ± 1.8, which is on a par with other computerized methods for assessing axial vertebral rotation. A significant advantage of our method, compared to other computerized methods for rotational measurements, is that it does not rely on vertebral symmetry for computing the rotational measures. The proposed method is fully automatic and computationally efficient, only requiring three to four minutes to process an entire image volume covering vertebrae L5 to T1. Given the use of landmarks, the method can be readily adapted to estimate other measures describing a spinal deformity by changing the set of employed landmarks. In addition, the method has the potential to be utilized for accurate segmentations of the vertebrae in routine computed tomography examinations, given the relatively low point-to-surface error.

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BibTex references

@article{FLAK14a,
  author       = {Forsberg, Daniel and Lundstr{\"o}m, Claes and Andersson, Mats and Knutsson, Hans},
  title        = {{Model-based registration for assessment of spinal deformities in idiopathic scoliosis}},
  journal      = {Physics in Medicine and Biology},
  number       = {2},
  volume       = {59},
  pages        = {311--326},
  year         = {2014}
}

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