Cover of EOS 2D/3D X-ray Imaging System: A Systematic Review and Economic Evaluation

EOS 2D/3D X-ray Imaging System: A Systematic Review and Economic Evaluation

Health Technology Assessment, No. 16.14

,1 ,2,* ,1 ,2 ,2 ,3 ,1 and 2.

1 Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK
2 Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York, York, UK
3 Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
* Corresponding author
Southampton (UK): NIHR Journals Library; .
© 2012, Crown Copyright.



EOS is a biplane X-ray imaging system manufactured by EOS Imaging (formerly Biospace Med, Paris, France). It uses slot-scanning technology to produce a high-quality image with less irradiation than standard imaging techniques.


To determine the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of EOS twodimensional (2D)/three-dimensional (3D) X-ray imaging system for the evaluation and monitoring of scoliosis and other relevant orthopaedic conditions.

Data sources:

For the systematic review of EOS, electronic databases (MEDLINE, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database, BIOSIS Previews, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, The Cochrane Library, EMBASE, Health Management Information Consortium, Inspec, ISI Science Citation Index and PASCAL), clinical trials registries and the manufacturer's website were searched from 1993 to November 2010.

Review methods:

A systematic review of studies comparing EOS with standard X-ray [film, computed radiography (CR) or digital radiography] in any orthopaedic condition was performed. A narrative synthesis was undertaken. A decision-analytic model was developed to assess the cost-effectiveness of EOS in the relevant indications compared with standard X-ray and incorporated the clinical effectiveness of EOS and the adverse effects of radiation. The model incorporated a lifetime horizon to estimate outcomes in terms of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and costs from the perspective of the NHS.


Three studies met the inclusion criteria for the review. Two studies compared EOS with film X-ray and one study compared EOS with CR. The three included studies were small and of limited quality. One study used an earlier version of the technology, the Charpak system. Both studies comparing EOS with film X-ray found image quality to be comparable or better with EOS overall. Radiation dose was considerably lower with EOS: ratio of means for posteroanterior spine was 5.2 (13.1 for the study using the Charpak system); ratio of means for the lateral spine was 6.2 (15.1 for the study using the Charpak system). The study comparing EOS with CR found image quality to be comparable or better with EOS. Radiation dose was considerably lower with EOS than CR; ratio of means for the centre of the back was 5.9 and for the proximal lateral point 8.8. The lowest ratio of means was at the nape of the neck, which was 2.9. No other outcomes were assessed in the included studies, such as implications for patient management from the nature and quality of the image. Patient throughput is the major determinant of the cost-effectiveness of EOS. The average cost per procedure of EOS decreases with utilisation. Using estimates of patient throughput at national level from Hospital Episode Statistics data suggests that EOS is not cost-effective for the indications considered. Throughput in the region of 15,100 to 26,500 (corresponding to a workload of 60 to 106 patient appointments per working day) for EOS compared with a throughput of only 7530 for CR (30 patient appointments per working day) is needed to achieve an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of £30,000 per QALY. EOS can be shown to be cost-effective only when compared with CR if the utilisation for EOS is about double the utilisation of CR.


The main limitation of the systematic review of the clinical effectiveness of EOS was the limited number and quality of the data available. In particular, there were no studies assessing the potential health benefits arising from the quality and nature of the image, over and above those associated with reduced radiation exposure. Uncertainty in the model inputs was not fully explored owing to a lack of reporting of standard deviations or confidence intervals in the published literature for most of the parameters. As a result, uncertainty in the cost-effectiveness results was not presented.


Radiation dose is considerably lower with EOS than standard X-ray, whereas image quality remains comparable or better with EOS. However, the long-term health benefits from reduced radiation exposure with EOS are very small and there was a lack of data on other potential patient health benefits. The implications of any changes in the quality and nature of the EOS image compared with standard X-ray, for patient health outcomes, needs to be assessed. Given the higher cost of an EOS machine, utilisation is the major determinant of cost-effectiveness. Estimates of patient throughput at national level suggest that EOS is not cost-effective.


The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment programme.

Suggested citation:

McKenna C, Wade R, Faria R, Yang H, Stirk L, Gummerson N, et al. EOS 2D/3D X-ray imaging system: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess 2012;16(14).

Declared competing interests of the authors: none

The research reported in this issue of the journal was commissioned and funded by the HTA programme on behalf of NICE as project number 10/67/01. The protocol was agreed in October 2010. The assessment report began editorial review in March 2011 and was accepted for publication in July 2011.The authors have been wholly responsible for all data collection, analysis and interpretation, and for writing up their work. The HTA editors and publisher have tried to ensure the accuracy of the authors' report and would like to thank the referees for their constructive comments on the draft document. However, they do not accept liability for damages or losses arising from material published in this report.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the HTA programme or the Department of Health.

© 2012, Crown Copyright.

Included under terms of UK Non-commercial Government License.

Bookshelf ID: NBK97733