A non-invasive method for scoliosis assessment-A new mathematical concept using polar angle

Susmita Roy, Alexander T.D. Grünwald, Renée Lampe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Scoliosis is one of the most common pediatric spinal diseases that leads to a three-dimensional deformity of the spine and has a high risk of progression during growth. Regular clinical monitoring and follow-up X-rays are needed to providing proper treatment at that time. Repetitive X-rays can results in an increased risk of radiation related health problems. We present a non-invasive, ionizing radiation-free method for assessing scoliosis and its progression from the 3D images of the body torso, captured by a body scanner. A new concept is introduced based on a mathematical method in polar coordinate system to quantify and characterize the deformities in the torso from 2D transverse cross-sections of the 3D torso images at example cases for a healthy individual and for two patients with scoliosis. To capture quantitatively the characteristics of scoliosis, and to verify them at the example cases two asymmetry parameters and a linear fitting parameter are calculated: a) back side area asymmetry, b) left right area asymmetry, and c) coefficient of determination (R2). Within the analyzed patients, both the area asymmetries are maximum at the apex of scoliosis, and increase with the severity of scoliosis. R2 values are smaller in the case of patients compared with the healthy. Furthermore, the parameters show a trend when compared with the Cobb angle from the X-ray and the findings match with clinical examination. Therefore, the quantities are able to capture, certain characteristics associated with scoliosis. These quantities can be compared as a measure of deformities of torso, during the follow-up examinations in the future, without ionizing radiations.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0275395
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9 September
StatePublished - Sep 2022


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