Evaluation of the reliability and validity of the newer AOSpine subaxial cervical injury classification (C-3 to C-7)

Otávio Turolo Da Silva, Marcelo Ferreira Sabba, Henrique Igor Gomes Lira, Enrico Ghizoni, Helder Tedeschi, Alpesh A. Patel, Andrei Fernandes Joaquim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The authors evaluated a new classification for subaxial cervical spine trauma (SCST) recently proposed by the AOSpine group based on morphological criteria obtained using CT imaging. METHODS: Patients with SCST treated at the authors' institution according to the Subaxial Cervical Spine Injury Classification system were included. Five different blinded researchers classified patients' injuries according to the new AOSpine system using CT imaging at 2 different times (4-week interval between each assessment). Reliability was assessed using the kappa index (κ), while validity was inferred by comparing the classification obtained with the treatment performed. RESULTS: Fifty-one patients were included: 31 underwent surgical treatment, and 20 were managed nonsurgically. Intraobserver agreement for subgroups ranged from 0.61 to 0.93, and interobserver agreement was 0.51 (first assessment) and 0.6 (second assessment). Intraobserver agreement for groups ranged from 0.66 to 0.95, and interobserver agreement was 0.52 (first assessment) and 0.63 (second assessment). The kappa index in all evaluations was 0.67 for Type A, 0.08 for Type B, and 0.68 for Type C injuries, and for the facet modifier it was 0.33(F1), 0.4(F2), 0.56(F3), and 0.75 (F4). Complete agreement for all components was attained in 25 cases (49%) (19 Type A and 6 Type C), and for subgroups it was attained in 22 cases (43.1%) (16 Type A0 and 6 Type C). Type a0 injuries were treated conservatively or surgically according to their neurological status and ligamentous status. Type C injuries were treated surgically in almost all cases, except one. CONCLUSIONS: While the general reliability of the newer AOSpine system for SCST was acceptable for group classification, significant limitations were identified for subgroups. Type B injuries were rarely diagnosed, and only mild (Type A0) and extreme severe (Type C) injuries had a high rate of interobserver agreement. Facet modifiers and intermediate injury patterns require better descriptions to improve their low agreement in cases of SCST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery: Spine
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Cervical trauma
  • Classification
  • Evaluation
  • Reliability
  • Subaxial cervical spine
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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