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J Pediatr Orthop. 2011 Jun;31(4):e30-5. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e31821adde9.

Measurement of the center edge angle and determination of the Severin classification using digital radiography, computer-assisted measurement tools, and a Severin algorithm: intraobserver and interobserver reliability revisited.

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Salt Lake City Shrine Hospital for Children, Fairfax at Virginia, USA.



Numerous studies underscore the poor intraobserver and interobserver reliability of both the center edge angle (CEA) and the Severin classification using plain film measurements. In this study, experienced observers applied a computer-assisted measurement program to determine the CEA in digital pelvic radiographs of adults who had been previously treated for dysplasia of the hip (DDH). Using a teaching aid/algorithm of the Severin classification, the observers then assigned a Severin rating to these hips. Intraobserver and interobserver errors were then calculated on both the CEA measurements and the Severin classifications.


Four pediatric orthopaedic surgeons and 1 pediatric radiologist calculated the CEAs using the OrthoView TM planning system and then determined the Severin classification on 41 blinded digital pelvic radiographs. The radiographs were evaluated by each examiner twice, with evaluations separated by 2 months. All examiners reviewed a Severin classification algorithm before making their Severin assignments. The intraobserver and interobserver reliability for both the CEA and the Severin classification were calculated using the interclass correlation coefficients and Cohen and Fleiss κ scores, respectively.


The intraobserver and interobserver reliability for CEA measurement was moderate to almost perfect. When we separated the Severin classification into 3 clinically relevant groups of good (Severin I and II), dysplastic (Severin III), and poor (Severin IV and above), our interobserver reliability neared almost perfect.


The Severin classification is an extremely useful and oft-used radiographic measure for the success of DDH treatment. Our research found digital radiography, computer-aided measurement tools, the use of a Severin algorithm, and separating the Severin classification into 3 clinically relevant groups significantly increased the intraobserver and interobserver reliability of both the CEA and Severin classification. This finding will assist future studies using the CEA and Severin classification in the radiographic assessment of DDH treatment outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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