The deformity index as a predictor of final radiological outcome in Perthes' disease
Little, David G.
SourceJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery - Series B
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The deformity index is a new radiological measurement of the degree of deformity of the femoral head in unilateral Perthes' disease. Its values represent a continuous outcome measure of deformity incorporating changes in femoral epiphyseal height and width compared with the unaffected side. The sphericity of the femoral head in 30 radiographs (ten normal and 20 from patients with Perthes' disease) were rated blindly as normal, mild, moderate or severe by three observers. Further blinded measurements of the deformity index were made on two further occasions with intervals of one month. There was good agreement between the deformity index score and the subjective grading of deformity. Intra- and interobserver agreement for the deformity index was high. The intraobserver intraclass correlation coefficient for each observer was 0.98, 0.99 and 0.97, respectively, while the interobserver intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.98 for the first and 0.97 for the second set of calculations. We also reviewed retrospectively 96 radiographs of children with Perthes' disease, who were part of a multicentre trial which followed them to skeletal maturity. We found that the deformity index at two years correlated well with the Stulberg grading at skeletal maturity. A deformity index value above 0.3 was associated with the development of an aspherical femoral head. Using a deformity index value of 0.3 to divide groups for risk gives a sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 81% for predicting a Stulberg grade of III or IV. We conclude that the deformity index at two years is a valid and reliable radiological outcome measure in unilateral Perthes' disease. ©2007 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery.