The accuracy of active shape modelling and end-plate measurements for characterising the shape of the lumbar spine in the sagittal plane

Ali H A Ali, Amy-Beth Cowan, Jenny Gregory, Richard M Aspden, Judith R Meakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The 2D shape of the lumbar spine in the sagittal plane can be determined from lordosis angles measured between the corresponding end-plates of the vertebral bodies or by using an active shape model (ASM) of the vertebral body outline. The ASM was previously shown to be a more efficient and reliable method, but its accuracy has not been assessed. The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of an ASM for characterising lumbar spine shape and compare this to conventional measurements. Images of 25 different lumbar spine shapes were generated and measured, using both methods, by three independent observers. The accuracy of the ASM, determined from lordosis angles predicted by the model, was found to be better than conventional measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
Early online date6 Jan 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • active shape model
  • lumbar spine
  • lordosis
  • end plate angles

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