Geometric sensitivity of patient-specific finite element models of the spine to variability in user-selected anatomical landmarks

Little, J.P. & Adam, C.J. (2015) Geometric sensitivity of patient-specific finite element models of the spine to variability in user-selected anatomical landmarks. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, 18(6), pp. 676-688.

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Software to create individualised finite element (FE) models of the osseoligamentous spine using pre-operative computed tomography (CT) data-sets for spinal surgery patients has recently been developed. This study presents a geometric sensitivity analysis of this software to assess the effect of intra-observer variability in user-selected anatomical landmarks. User-selected landmarks on the osseous anatomy were defined from CT data-sets for three scoliosis patients and these landmarks were used to reconstruct patient-specific anatomy of the spine and ribcage using parametric descriptions. The intra-observer errors in landmark co-ordinates for these anatomical landmarks were calculated. FE models of the spine and ribcage were created using the reconstructed anatomy for each patient and these models were analysed for a loadcase simulating clinical flexibility assessment. The intra-observer error in the anatomical measurements was low in comparison to the initial dimensions, with the exception of the angular measurements for disc wedge and zygapophyseal joint (z-joint) orientation and disc height. This variability suggested that CT resolution may influence such angular measurements, particularly for small anatomical features, such as the z-joints, and may also affect disc height. The results of the FE analysis showed low variation in the model predictions for spinal curvature with the mean intra-observer variability substantially less than the accepted error in clinical measurement. These findings demonstrate that intra-observer variability in landmark point selection has minimal effect on the subsequent FE predictions for a clinical loadcase.

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5 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 70442
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online: 21 Nov 2013
Keywords: spine, finite element, thoracolumbar, ribcage, patient-specific, scoliosis
DOI: 10.1080/10255842.2013.843673
ISSN: 1476-8259
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 24 Apr 2014 00:19
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 00:02

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