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The use of surface topography in the surveillance of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: the influence of patient BMI on the reliability of curve measurement


There are several methods available using surface topography to estimate the spinal curves in adolescent scoliosis patients. One new method, using the Ortelius 800 device, has been shown to be unreliable [1]. This study will analyze whether the reliability of measurements is related to the patient's Body Mass Index (BMI).


Adolescent patients being screened or observed for scoliosis had their curves evaluated using standard radiographs. They also underwent an evaluation using the Ortelius 800 machine, which provides curve analysis and Cobb angles of the patient's spine. Finally, height and weight were obtained and BMI was calculated.


For each patient, the difference between the Orthoscan measurement and the x-ray measurement was calculated, and then this difference was compared to the patient's BMI. Results showed that there was a negative correlation between BMI and the reliability of the measurements made using surface topography.


Procedures using surface topography to predict the magnitude of the Cobb angle in adolescents may be much less effective in patients with an elevated BMI.


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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Knott, P., Mardjetko, S., Dunn, M. et al. The use of surface topography in the surveillance of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: the influence of patient BMI on the reliability of curve measurement. Scoliosis 4 (Suppl 1), O15 (2009).

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