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Differences in lumbar and pelvic parameters among African American, Caucasian and Asian populations

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Ethnic differences in spino-pelvic parameters among a healthy population are poorly defined in the literature. The purpose of this study was to document sagittal spino-pelvic parameters in a sample of African Americans and to compare them with previously reported data for Caucasians and Asians.


African American individuals without spine pathology who had standing lateral radiographs were identified. Radiographs were measured to determine the following parameters: lumbar lordosis (LL), pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt (PT) and sacral slope (SS). Data of adult subjects were compared with those previously published for Caucasians (n = 709) and Asians (n = 312).


These measurements (LL, PI, PT, and SS) obtained for the 36 African American subjects aged 18 years or older [15 men and 21 women; mean age 26.6 ± 8.7 range (18–53)] The mean LL, PI, PT and SS values were 57.2°, 57.7°, 15.9° and 41.4°, respectively. A comparative analysis showed the means values for PI was greater in the African American than in Caucasian (57.7° vs. 52.6°, p = 0.007), and than in Asian (57.7° vs. 48.7°, p < 0.001). The linear regression model for the LL as a function of PI were “predict LL = 0.41 × PI + 33.7” in African American, “predict LL = 0.58 × PI + 24.3” in Caucasian, and “predict LL = 0.54 × PI + 22.0” in Asian, respectively.


Significant differences in sagittal spino-pelvic parameters among races were seen. These differences should be considered when planning surgical reconstruction for spinal surgery.

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No other person aside from the authors made substantial contributions to conception, design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data, or was involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content. No funding was received for the design, in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; and in the decision to submit the manuscript for publication. No language editor or scientific (medical) writer was involved in the preparation of the manuscript. The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical devices or drugs. This study was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Louisville.

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Correspondence to Hideyuki Arima.

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Relevant financial activities outside the submitted work: board membership, consultancy, employment, grants, payment for lectures, travel/accommodations/meeting expenses, patents, royalties, and stocks. HA has nothing to disclose. JRD, SDG and LYC are employees of Norton Healthcare. Nuvasive provided funds directly to database company. No funds are paid directly to Individual or Individual’s Institution 06/2012-04/2015. JRD receives consulting fees, holds patents and receives royalties from Medtronic; is on the editorial review board of JBJS Highlights, Spine, Spine Deformity, JAAOS and Global Spine; is a member of the SRS Board. SDG received research grants from Norton Healthcare; receives consulting fees, holds patents from and receives royalties from Medtronic. YY, YM, JM and PR have nothing to disclose. LYC is a Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Spine and Spine Journal, University of Louisville Institutional Review Board, Scoliosis Research Society Research Committee; receives research funds from Orthopedic Research and Educational Fund, Norton Healthcare, Scoliosis Research Society; received funds for travel from Association for Collaborative Spine Research, University of Southern Denmark, University of Louisville; consulting fees from Washington University at St. Louis.

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Arima, H., Dimar, J.R., Glassman, S.D. et al. Differences in lumbar and pelvic parameters among African American, Caucasian and Asian populations. Eur Spine J 27, 2990–2998 (2018).

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