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3D surface topographic measurements for idiopathic scoliosis are highly correlative to patient self-image questionnaires



Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) is a deformity of the spine that results in external asymmetry of the torso in the shoulder, waist, and rib hump. Several patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) including the Trunk Appearance Perception Scale (TAPS) and SRS-22r self-image domain are used to measure the patient’s self-perception. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between objective surface topographic measurements of the torso to subjective patient self-perception.


131 AIS subjects and 37 controls participated in this study. All subjects completed TAPS and SRS-22r PROMS followed by whole body 3d surface topographic scanning. An automated analysis pipeline was used to compute 57 measurements. Multivariate linear models were developed to predict TAPS and SRS-22r self-image using each unique combination of 3 parameters and leave one out validation where the best combinations were selected.


Back surface rotation, waist crease vertical asymmetry and rib prominence volume were most predictive of TAPS. The final predicted TAPS values from leave one out cross validation was correlated to ground truth TAPS scores with an R value of 0.65. Back surface rotation, silhouette centroid deviation, and shoulder normal asymmetry were most predictive of SRS-22r self-image with a correlation of R = 0.48.


Surface topographic measurements of the torso are correlated to TAPS and SRS-22r self-image scores in AIS patients and controls, with TAPS exhibiting a stronger relationship, better reflecting the patient’s external asymmetries.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed by the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Funding support for this project was provided by the Leon Root Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the Hospital for Special Surgery Lerner’s Children’s Pavilion Research Fund, the Foundation Yves Cotrel Basic Science Research Grant, the Neumann Family Fund Foundation, and the Professor Rahamimoff Travel Grant for Young Scientists of the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation. Physical space was provided by the HSS Department of Radiology, and construction costs were supported by HSS.

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Authors and Affiliations



Conception of design or work: AT, BG, HJH, MEC, MTH, HO, KP, CG, RH, AW, RFW, JHH. Data Collection: AT, KP, CG, JHH. Writing-Original Draft Preparation: AT, RFW, JHH. Revision of work: AT, BG, HJH, MTH, HO, KWM, RK, RFW, JHH. Approval of final version of manuscript: AT, BG, HJH, MEC, MTH, HO, KWM, KP, CG, RK, AW, RFW, JHH. Agree to be accountable for the work: AT, BG, HJH, MEC, MTH, HO, KWM, KP, CG, RK, AW, RFW, JHH.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jessica H. Heyer.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Ethical approvals

The study was conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki, and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

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Informed consent was obtained from all patients (or their legal guardians) at each participating institution at the onset of the study.

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Patients (or their legal guardians) were individually consented at each participating institution for inclusion of their data in published studies. There is no identifiable data or imaging included in this study. 3D Surface Topographic Measurements for Idiopathic Scoliosis are Highly Correlative to Patient Self-Image Questionnaires.

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Thakur, A., Groisser, B., Hillstrom, H.J. et al. 3D surface topographic measurements for idiopathic scoliosis are highly correlative to patient self-image questionnaires. Spine Deform (2023).

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  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Surface topography
  • Patient reported outcome measures
  • Self-image