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Can scoliosis follow up by surface topography (Biomod-L®) securely predict Cobb angle progression? Longitudnal study; preliminary results on 60 patients


The gold standard parameter for scoliosis follow-up is the Cobb angle from full spine radiographs. However, the repetition of X-rays on children and adolescents may increase future cancer risks [1, 2]. Our project is to space out X-rays assessments by using a Moiré based Surface Topography device (Biomod-L®).

Two reference postures have been selected after a preliminary study: 1) Joined elbows and coiled shoulders (dorsal hump measurement); 2) Erected position, hands grasping wall bars (all other measurements).


Can the progression of Biomod-L® parameters securely predict the progression of Cobb angles measured on X-rays?

Materials and methods

60 patients (mean age 13,4 years old ; 9-18) who had undergone at least two simultaneous X-Rays + Biomod-L® assessments were included in a row. This provided a total of 75 “follow up segments” distributed on different periods of growth, preliminary follow up and treatment follow up.

The X-rays criteria were +3° for progression and -5° for improvement. The Biomod-L® progression was assessed on the hump, lordosis, spinal curves and list measurements, and on a subjective comparison of the fringe mapping.


For worsening prediction: sensitivity 90%, negative predictive value 90%, specificity 60%, positive predictive value 59%. For improving prediction: sensitivity 50%, negative predictive value 87%, specificity 91%, positive predictive value 62%.


According to the sensitivity and negative predictive value for worsening prediction, Biomod-L® seems a reasonably liable tool for detecting slight progressions of the Cobb angle and to be used as a trigger for X-Rays controls.


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

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De Seze, M., De Korvin, G. Can scoliosis follow up by surface topography (Biomod-L®) securely predict Cobb angle progression? Longitudnal study; preliminary results on 60 patients. Scoliosis 7 (Suppl 1), O20 (2012).

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