Objective: Replacement of radiography by sonography for determination of skeletal maturity.
Design: Sonographic and radiographic evaluation of the maturation of the iliac bone apophysis (Risser's sign) and evaluation of the distal radial epiphyses.
Patients: 64 children and adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis, aged from 5 to 19 years.
Results: Sonograms with corresponding radiographs were available for the hand and wrist in 36 cases and for the iliac bone in 28 cases. Comparison of sonographic with radiological data revealed sonography to have a sensitivity for qualifying the status of the distal radial epiphysis of 93.1%. Specificity was 100%, accuracy 94.4% for investigation of the distal radial epiphysis. Overall accuracy for correct determination of Risser's stage by ultrasound (in comparison with the radiographic standard) was 89.2%.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that ultrasound is a useful and highly acceptable tool for bone age determination in clinical routine or screening studies and will help to reduce ionizing radiation to children and adolescents.