The ability to assess geometric asymmetry in the torsos of individuals is important for detecting Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS). A markerless technique using Surface Topography (ST) has been introduced as a non-invasive alternative to standard diagnostic radiographs. The technique has been used to identify asymmetry patterns associated with AIS. However, the presence and nature of asymmetries in the healthy population has not been properly studied. The purpose of this study is therefore to identify asymmetries and potential relationships to development factors such as age, gender, hand dominance and unilateral physical activity in healthy adolescents. Full torso scans of
83 participants were analyzed. Using Geomagic, deviation contour maps (DCMs) were created by reflecting the torso along the best plane of sagittal symmetry with each spectrum normalized. Two classes of asymmetry were observed: twist and thickness each with subgroupings. Averaged interobserver and intraobserver Kappas for twist subgroupings were 0.84 and 0.84, respectively, and for thickness subgroupings were 0.53 and 0.63 respectively. Further significant relationships were observed between specific types of asymmetry and gender such as females displaying predominately twist asymmetry, and males with thickness asymmetry. However, no relationships were found between type of asymmetry and age, hand dominance or unilateral physical activity. Understanding asymmetries in healthy subjects will continue to enhance assessment ability of the markerless ST technique.
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