Morphometric analysis of the thoracic intervertebral foramen osseous anatomy in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using low-dose computed tomography

Loch-Wilkinson, Thorbjorn J., Izatt, Maree T., Labrom, Robert D., Askin, Geoffrey N., Pearcy, Mark J., & Adam, Clayton J. (2016) Morphometric analysis of the thoracic intervertebral foramen osseous anatomy in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis using low-dose computed tomography. Spine Deformity, 4(3), pp. 182-192.

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  • The dimensions of the thoracic intervertebral foramen in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) have not previously been quantified. Better understanding of the dimensions of the foramen may be useful in surgical planning. This study describes a reproducible method for measurement of the thoracic foramen in AIS using computerized tomography (CT).


  • In 23 pre-operative female patients with Lenke 1 type AIS with right side convexity major curves confined to the thoracic spine the foraminal height (FH), foraminal width (FW), pedicle to superior articular process distance (P-SAP) and cross sectional foraminal area (FA) were measured using multi planar reconstructed CT. Measurements were made at entrance, midpoint and exit of the thoracic foramina from T1/T2 to T11/T12. Results were also correlated with dependent variables of major curve Cobb Angle measured on X-ray and CT, Age, Weight, Lenke classification subtype, Risser Grade and number of spinal levels in the major curve.


  • The FH, FW, P-SAP and FA dimensions and ratios are all significantly larger on the convexity of the major curve and maximal at or close to the apex. Mean thoracic foraminal dimensions change in a predictable manner relative to position on the major thoracic curve. There was no statistically significant correlation with the measured foraminal dimensions or ratios and the individual dependent variables. The average ratio of convexity to concavity dimensions at the apex foramina for entrance, midpoint and exit respectively are FH (1.50, 1.38, 1.25), FW (1.28, 1.30, 0.98), FA (2.06, 1.84, 1.32), P-SAP (1.61, 1.47, 1.30).


  • Foraminal dimensions of the thoracic spine are significantly affected by AIS. Foraminal dimensions have a predictable convexity to concavity ratio relative to the proximity to the major curve apex. Surgeons should be aware of these anatomical differences during scoliosis correction surgery.

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ID Code: 96539
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, AIS, morphometry, morphometric, intervertebral foramen, computed tomography, CT
DOI: 10.1016/j.jspd.2015.10.004
ISSN: 2212-134X
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 2016 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution; Non-Commercial; No-Derivatives 4.0 International. DOI: 10.1016/j.jspd.2015.10.004
Deposited On: 04 Jul 2016 23:47
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2016 16:38

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