Accuracy and Reliability of Computer-aided Anatomical Measurements for Vertebral Body and Disc Based on Computed Tomography Scans.Orthop Surg. 2020 Jul 03 [Online ahead of print]OS
To assess whether the computed tomography (CT)-based method of three-dimensional (3D) analysis (Mimics) was accurate and reliable for spine surgical anatomical measurements.
A total of 40 lumbar segments and 32 inter-vertebral discs from eigth adult male cadavers without fractures or deformities fixed with the classical formaldehyde method were included in this research on 5 June 2017. CT scans including seven dimensions: anterior height of the vertebral body (VBHa), middle height of the vertebral body (VBHm), posterior height of the vertebral body (VBHp), width of the upper endplate (EPWu), depth of the upper endplate (EPDu), anterior height of the inter-vertebral disc in the median sagittal plane (IDHa), and posterior height of the inter-vertebral disc in the median sagittal plane (IDHp). They were performed based on uniform conditions (slice thickness: 0.625 mm) using a CT scanner on 8 June 2017. Afterwards, the surgical anatomical measurements were conducted with a Vernier caliper on 12 June 2017. The computer-aided anatomical measurements were conducted by three investigators using Mimics 16.0 to perform 3D reconstructions of CT bone on 16 June 2017. Finally, the length and angle were measured with associated measurement tools, yielding a verified accuracy of 0.01 mm and 0.01°, respectively. Each measurement was repeated three times, and all anatomical data was analyzed using the statistical software and P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
The results showed no statistically significant difference was observed between the surgical anatomical and computer-aided anatomical measurements (P > 0.05) for lumbar vertebra measurements, and the absolute difference between surgical and computer-aided data were all less than 1.0 mm (for the VBHa, VBHm, VBHp, EPWu, and EPDu were 0.12, 0.03, 0.03, 0.31, and 0.03 mm, respectively). Moreover, although the absolute differences of discs was larger than those of lumbar vertebras, no significant differences were detected between the computer-aided and surgical anatomical measurements for the IDHa, as well as IDHp in the vast majority of measurements (P = 0.543, 0.079 or 0.052 for IDHa, and P = 0.212, 0.133 or 0.042 for IDHp). In addition, excellent reliability correlation was observed between the measurements of each investigator, and the reliability coefficients in the intra-groups were all greater than 0.9 except for IDHp (reliability coefficient = 0.892). Additionally, the reliability coefficients were greater than 0.9 for the all between-group correlations, and a significant correlation was also observed. Furthermore, no statistically significant difference for three anatomical values was found in the computer-assisted measurements of the lumbar bone structure (P > 0.05). Similarly, we did not observe a statistical difference in the anatomical data of the lumbar discs from the three measures (P > 0.05).
Computer-aided anatomical measurement for spine based on CT scans presents the high accuracy and reliability for improving spinal surgical procedures.