The importance of precise plane selection for female adult Chiari Type I malformation midsagittal morphometrics.PLoS One. 2022; 17(8):e0272725.Plos
Morphometric assessment of Chiari malformation type I (CMI) is typically performed on a midsagittal MRI. However, errors arising from an imprecise selection of the midsagittal plane are unknown. We define absolute parasagittal error as the absolute difference between morphometric measurements at the midsagittal and parasagittal planes. Our objective was to determine the absolute parasagittal error at various lateral distances for morphometric parameters commonly used in CMI research.
Sagittal T1-weighted MRI scans of 30 CMI adult female subjects were included. Image sets were evaluated to assess 14 CMI morphometric parameters in the midsagittal plane and four parasagittal planes located 1 and 2 mm lateral (left and right). Comparisons between measurements at the midsagittal and parasagittal planes were conducted to determine the mean individual absolute and mean group parasagittal errors for all 14 parameters.
The mean individual absolute parasagittal error was > 1 unit (1 mm for lengths and 1 degree for angles) for 9/14 parameters within a lateral distance of 2 mm. No significant group parasagittal errors were seen in 14/14 parameters, including tonsillar position within a lateral distance of 2 mm.
Our results show that the absolute errors for imprecise midsagittal plane selection may impact the clinical assessment of an individual patient. However, the impact on group measurements, such as in a research setting, will be minimal.