SpineCloud: Image analytics for predictive modeling of spine surgery outcomes

Tharindu De Silva, S. Swaroop Vedula, Alexander Perdomo-Pantoja, Rohan Vijayan, Sophia A. Doerr, Ali Uneri, Runze Han, Michael D. Ketcha, Richard L. Skolasky, Timothy Witham, Nicholas Theodore, Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen, Jeffrey H. Siewerdsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Data-intensive modeling could provide insight on the broad variability in outcomes in spine surgery. Previous studies were limited to analysis of demographic and clinical characteristics. We report an analytic framework called "SpineCloud"that incorporates quantitative features extracted from perioperative images to predict spine surgery outcome. Approach: A retrospective study was conducted in which patient demographics, imaging, and outcome data were collected. Image features were automatically computed from perioperative CT. Postoperative 3- and 12-month functional and pain outcomes were analyzed in terms of improvement relative to the preoperative state. A boosted decision tree classifier was trained to predict outcome using demographic and image features as predictor variables. Predictions were computed based on SpineCloud and conventional demographic models, and features associated with poor outcome were identified from weighting terms evident in the boosted tree. Results: Neither approach was predictive of 3- or 12-month outcomes based on preoperative data alone in the current, preliminary study. However, SpineCloud predictions incorporating image features obtained during and immediately following surgery (i.e., intraoperative and immediate postoperative images) exhibited significant improvement in area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUC): AUC = 0.72 (CI95 = 0.59 to 0.83) at 3 months and AUC = 0.69 (CI95 = 0.55 to 0.82) at 12 months. Conclusions: Predictive modeling of lumbar spine surgery outcomes was improved by incorporation of image-based features compared to analysis based on conventional demographic data. The SpineCloud framework could improve understanding of factors underlying outcome variability and warrants further investigation and validation in a larger patient cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031502
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • data analytics
  • image analytics
  • lumbar spine surgery
  • machine learning
  • outcome modeling
  • prediction models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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