Characterization of Thoracic Spinal Development by Age and Sex with a Focus on Occupant Safety
Spine degeneration can lower injury tolerance and influence injury outcomes in vehicle crashes. To date, limited information exists on the effect of age and sex on thoracic spine 3-dimensional geometry. The purpose of this study is to quantify thoracic spinal column and canal geometry using selected geometrical measurement from a large sample of CT scans. More than 33,488 scans were obtained from the International Center for Automotive Medicine database at the University of Michigan under Institutional Review Board approval (HUM00041441). The sample consisted of CT scans obtained from 31,537 adult and 1,951 pediatric patients between the ages of 0 to 99 years old. Each scan was processed semi-automatically using custom algorithms written in MATLAB (The Math Works, Natick, MA). Five geometrical measurements were collected including: 1) maximum spinal curvature depth (D), 2) T1-to-T12 vertical height (H), 3) Kyphosis Index (KI), 4) kyphosis angle, and 5) spinal canal radius.