Spinal curvature measurement by tracked ultrasound snapshots

Tamas Ungi, Franklin King, Michael Kempston, Zsuzsanna Keri, Andras Lasso, Parvin Mousavi, John Rudan, Daniel P. Borschneck, Gabor Fichtinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Monitoring spinal curvature in adolescent kyphoscoliosis requires regular radiographic examinations; however, the applied ionizing radiation increases the risk of cancer. Ultrasound imaging is favored over radiography because it does not emit ionizing radiation. Therefore, we tested an ultrasound system for spinal curvature measurement, with the help of spatial tracking of the ultrasound transducer. Tracked ultrasound was used to localize vertebral transverse processes as landmarks along the spine to measure curvature angles. The method was tested in two scoliotic spine models by localizing the same landmarks using both ultrasound and radiographic imaging and comparing the angles obtained. A close correlation was found between tracked ultrasound and radiographic curvature measurements. Differences between results of the two methods were 1.27 ± 0.84° (average ± SD) in an adult model and 0.96 ± 0.87° in a pediatric model. Our results suggest that tracked ultrasound may become a more tolerable and more accessible alternative to radiographic spine monitoring in adolescent kyphoscoliosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent idiopathic kyphoscoliosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Tracked sonography
  • Tracked ultrasound snapshot

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics

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  • Cite this

    Ungi, T., King, F., Kempston, M., Keri, Z., Lasso, A., Mousavi, P., Rudan, J., Borschneck, D. P., & Fichtinger, G. (2014). Spinal curvature measurement by tracked ultrasound snapshots. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 40(2), 447-454. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2013.09.021