The diagnostic accuracy of imaging modalities to detect pseudarthrosis after spinal fusion-a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature

Marloes J. M. Peters*, Carolien H. G. Bastiaenen, Boudewijn T. Brans, Rene E. Weijers, Paul C. Willems

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objective The aim of the study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy of imaging modalities to detect pseudarthrosis after thoracolumbar spinal fusion, with surgical exploration as reference standard. Materials and methods A systematic literature search for original studies was performed on the diagnostic accuracy of imaging as index test compared to surgical exploration as reference standard to diagnose pseudarthrosis after thoracolumbar spinal fusion. Diagnostic accuracy values were extracted and methodologic quality of studies was evaluated by the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2 (QUADAS-2) tool. Per modality, clinically comparable studies were included in subgroup meta-analysis and weighted odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using the random effects model. Results Fifteen studies were included. Risk of bias was classified as high/unclear in 58% of the studies. Concerns of applicability was classified as high/unclear in 40% of the studies. Four scintigraphy studies including 93 patients in total were pooled to OR = 2.91 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.93-9.13). Five studies on plain radiography with 398 patients in total were pooled into OR = 7.07 (95% CI: 2.97-16.86). Two studies evaluating flexion-extension radiography of 75 patients in total were pooled into OR = 4.00 (95% CI: 0.15-105.96). Two studies of 68 patients in total were pooled for CT and yielded OR = 17.02 (95% CI: 6.42-45.10). A single study reporting on polytomography, OR = 10.15 (95% CI 5.49-18.78), was also considered to be an accurate study. Conclusions With a pooled OR of 17.02, CT can be considered the most accurate imaging modality for the detection of pseudarthrosis after thoracolumbar spinal fusion from this review.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1499-1510
Number of pages12
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Volume48
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Meta-analysis
  • Spinal fusion
  • Diagnostics accuracy
  • Pseudarthrosis
  • Imaging
  • LUMBAR INTERBODY FUSION
  • COMPUTED-TOMOGRAPHY SCANS
  • RADIOLOGIC ASSESSMENT
  • SURGICAL EXPLORATION
  • BACK-PAIN
  • PLAIN RADIOGRAPHS
  • POSTERIOR
  • SPECT
  • PSEUDARTHROSIS
  • SCINTIGRAPHY

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