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Eur Spine J. 2006 Jun;15(6):982-91. Epub 2005 Jun 17.

Validation of new clinical quantitative analysis software applicable in spine orthopaedic studies.

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Laboratoire de Biomécanique, ENSAM-CNRS, 151, boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75013 Paris, France.


The objective of this study was to evaluate an X-ray films analysis software, i.e. to estimate the reliability and validity of clinical measurements by means of this software. The authors first performed tests of precision and reproducibility of measures. The precision for dynamic modules was estimated at +/-2 degrees for the lumbar analysis and +/-3 degrees for the cervical one. Mean reproducibility coefficients calculated for postural modules are about 4 degrees for the angular parameters and 3 mm for the linear ones. We also evaluated clinical applicability of the software through its validity. Reference values calculated on a population of healthy subjects showed agreement with the literature. Then, when analysing postural X-ray films of severe scoliotic patients, we found that inter-observer reproducibility coefficients show a lower reliability of measurements; the main cause seems to be the low visibility of anatomic landmarks due to the quality of X-ray films and to the degree of deformity. This study allowed to better estimate the reliability and the usefulness of this tool, allowing for multicentric studies and exchanges.

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