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Analysis of Cervical Sagittal Balance Parameters in MRIs of Patients with Disc-Degenerative Disease

Zhao-Lin Wang, Jian-Lin Xiao, Jian-Hui Mou, Ting-Zheng Qin, Peng Liu

Department of Orthopaedics, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3083-3088

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.893715

Available online:

Published: 2015-10-13

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to explore the correlations between the different parameters of the cervical sagittal balance in magnetic resonance images (MRI) and evaluate the criteria for their clinical application in disc-degenerative diseases.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of the MRIs of 125 adult outpatients with disc-degenerative diseases of the cervical spine; the images were obtained between May and July 2014 at our institute. The control group comprised 50 volunteers whose MRIs were also obtained. The parameters measured in the MRIs were: neck tilt (NT), T1 slope (T1S), thoracic inlet angle (TIA), and Cobb’s angle (C2–7). The correlation between the various parameters was analyzed using the Pearson correlation coefficient.
RESULTS: The outpatients group showed moderate correlation between TIA and T1S, a significant correlation between TIA and NT, a weak correlation between T1S and Cobb’s angle, and a weakly negative correlation between T1S and NT. Further, the TIA showed no significant difference between the outpatient group and the control group, as per the sample t test.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that TIA, T1S, and NT could be used as indices for the evaluation of cervical sagittal balance and that the TIA could be used as a reference to assess the cervical compensation. Restoration of the NT and T1S should be considered as a goal of surgical treatment during the preoperative planning in patients with disc-degenerative diseases.

Keywords: Adult, Case-Control Studies, Cervical Vertebrae - pathology, Intervertebral Disc Degeneration - pathology, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Neck - pathology, Neck Pain - therapy, postural balance, young adult