Science In Brief

Chiropractic Litterature Review

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The Study: Correlation of cervical sagittal alignment parameters on full-length spine radiographs compared with dedicated cervical radiographs.

The Facts:

  1. The authors wanted to compare lateral sagittal measurements from lateral cervical and lateral full spine radiographs. 
  2. Both lateral cervical and full spine films were obtained and measured on forty (40) subjects. 
  3. Both the lateral cervical and the lateral full spine films were taken within four weeks of each other. 
  4. They looked at the following measurements nine measurements: Occiput to C2 Sagittal Cobb angle, Occiput to C7 Sagittal Cobb angle, C1 to C2 Sagittal Cobb angle, C2 to C7 Sagittal Cobb angle, T1 tilt, C2 to C7 Sagittal Vertical Axis, C1 to C7 Sagittal Vertical axis, Center of Gravity to C7 Sagittal Vertical Axis and Chin-brow-vertical angle. 
  5. "Except for the COG-C7 SVA, [Center of Gravity to C7 sagittal vertical axis] strong correlations between most cervical parameters taken from a dedicated cervical film and those taken from a 36-inch film were seen." (emphasis ours) 
  6. The authors indicate that in certain patients the dedicated lateral cervical may still be needed for diagnostic purposes i.e. "to rule out malignancy and other pathologies". 
  7. They concluded: "A dedicated cervical spine radiograph may not be necessary to evaluate the sagittal parameters of the cervical spine when a full length 36-inch radiograph has already been obtained." 

Take Home:

The authors indicated that they found a strong correlation between most of the measurements on the lateral cervical and the lateral full spine.  

Reviewer's Comments:

There are some people that seem to think that full spine radiographs are some sort of different species other than a radiograph. The radiograph is simply a tool. Each view gives different information and must be evaluated individually. The more we know the better decisions we can mak

Reviewer: Roger Coleman DC 

Editor's Comments: For the last thirty years, the use of full spine radiographs has fallen into disrepute within the chiropractic profession. Now that the medical profession is taking a more serious look at the impact of postural imbalance, they are realizing the value of these traditional chiropractic views. Hopefully our profession will catch up with our past and do the same.

Editor: Mark R. Payne DC

Reference: Carreon LY, Smith CL, Dimar JR 2nd, Classman SD. Correlation of cervical sagittal alignment parameters on full-length spine radiographs compared with dedicated cervical radiographs. Scoliosis Spinal Disord. 2016 Apr 7;11:12. doi: 10.1186/s13013-016-0072-0. eCollection 2016.

Link to Abstract:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27299161

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