Sequential MRI of growing scoliotic spines reveals individual level deformities that are clinically masked by the cobb angle

Keenan, Bethany E., Izatt, Maree T., Askin, Geoffrey N., Labrom, Robert D., Bennett, Damon D., Pearcy, Mark J., & Adam, Clayton J. (2015) Sequential MRI of growing scoliotic spines reveals individual level deformities that are clinically masked by the cobb angle. In Riches, Philip E. & Rowe, Philip (Eds.) XXV Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics, 12-16 July 2015, Glasgow, United Kingdom.


INTRODUCTION. Clinically, the Cobb angle method measures the overall scoliotic curve in the coronal plane but does not measure individual vertebra and disc wedging. The contributions of the vertebrae and discs in the growing scoliotic spine were measured to investigate coronal plane deformity progression with growth.

METHODS. A 0.49mm isotropic 3D MRI technique was developed to investigate the level-by-level changes that occur in the growing spine of a group of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) patients, who received two to four sequential scans (spaced 3-12 months apart). The coronal plane wedge angles of each vertebra and disc in the major curve were measured to capture any changes that occurred during their adolescent growth phase.

RESULTS. Seventeen patients had at least two scans. Mean patient age was 12.9 years (SD 1.5 years). Sixteen were classified as right-sided major thoracic Lenke Type 1 (one left sided). Mean standing Cobb angle at initial presentation was 31° (SD 12°). Six received two scans, nine three scans and two four scans, with 65% showing a Cobb angle progression of 5° or more between scans. Overall, there was no clear pattern of deformity progression of individual vertebrae and discs, nor between patients who progressed and those who didn’t. There were measurable changes in the wedging of the vertebrae and discs in all patients. In sequential scans, change in direction of wedging was also seen. In several patients there was reverse wedging in the discs that counteracted increased wedging of the vertebrae such that no change in overall Cobb angle was seen.

CONCLUSION. Sequential MRI data showed complex patterns of deformity progression. Changes to the wedging of individual vertebrae and discs may occur in patients who have no increase in Cobb angle measure; the Cobb method alone may be insufficient to capture the complex mechanisms of deformity progression.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

13 since deposited on 23 Sep 2015
8 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 87655
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: sequential MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, growing spine, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, adolescent spine, idiopathic scoliosis, Cobb angle, coronal deformity, spine deformity
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING (090300) > Biomechanical Engineering (090302)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Authors
Deposited On: 23 Sep 2015 02:38
Last Modified: 07 May 2017 11:01

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page