Sequential spine-hand radiography for assessing skeletal maturity with low radiation EOS imaging system for bracing treatment recommendation in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a feasibility and validity study

J Child Orthop. 2019 Aug 1;13(4):385-392. doi: 10.1302/1863-2548.13.190007.


Purpose: The EOS-imaging system is increasingly adopted for clinical follow-up in scoliosis with the advantages of simultaneous biplanar imaging of the spine in an erect position. Skeletal maturity assessment using a hand radiograph is an essential adjunct to spinal radiography in scoliosis follow-up. This study aims at testing the feasibility and validity of a newly proposed EOS workflow with sequential spine-hand radiography for skeletal maturity assessment and bracing recommendation.

Methods: EOS spine-hand radiographs from patients with diagnosis of idiopathic scoliosis, including both sexes and an age range of ten to 14 years, were scored using the Thumb Ossification Composite Index (TOCI), Sanders and Risser methods. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated for inter/intraobserver agreement and were tested with Cronbach's alpha values.

Results: In all, 60 EOS-spine hand radiographs selected from subjects with diagnosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), including 32 male patients (mean age 11.53 years; 10 to 14) and 28 female patients (mean age 11.50 years; 10 to 13) who underwent sequential spine-hand low dose EOS imaging were generated for analysis. The overall interobserver (ICC = 0.997) and intraobserver agreement (α > 0.9) demonstrated excellent agreement for TOCI staging; ICC > 0.994 for both TOCI and Sanders staging comparing traditional digital versus EOS hand radiography; ICC ≥ 0.841 for agreement on bracing recommendation among TOCI versus the Risser and Sanders system.

Conclusion: With the proposed new EOS workflow it was feasible to produce high image quality for skeletal maturity assessment with excellent reliability and validity to inform consistent bracing recommendation in AIS. The workflow is applicable for busy daily clinic settings in tertiary scoliosis centres with reduced time cost, improved efficiency and throughput of the radiology department.

Level of evidence: III.

Keywords: EOS; Tanner-Whitehouse; Thumb Ossification Composite Index; adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; hand radiograph; skeletal maturity.