3D reconstruction of the ribs from lateral and frontal X-rays in comparison to 3D CT-scan reconstruction

David Mitton, Kristin Zhao, Samuel Bertrand, Chunfeng Zhao, Sébastien Laporte, Chao Yang, Kai Nan An, Wafa Skalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Subject-specific three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of the ribs can be obtained from biplanar X-rays. The goal of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and the inter-observer reproducibility of this technique in comparison to CT-scan reconstructions. CT scans and biplanar X-rays were obtained from 50 ribs (from three cadaveric rib cages). Three experienced experimenters reconstructed each rib from biplanar X-rays. Morphometric parameters were then computed from the rib midlines. Differences were computed between parameters obtained from the 3D reconstructions based on biplanar X-rays and from CT scans. The accuracy was computed as the mean of this difference for the 50 ribs from all three experimenters. The inter-observer variability was assessed using the coefficient of variation (CV) between the three observers. The CT-scan reconstructions were considered to be the gold standard in spite of their limitations for rib reconstructions. According to the different linear parameters, the accuracy of the reconstructions was found to be between -6 mm (-2%) and 3 mm, (4%). The accuracy of the current method was close to that of CT-scan reconstructions. The inter-observer variability was between 3% and 6%. Frontal and lateral X-rays are commonly obtained clinically, so 3D reconstructions can be used without increased radiation exposure to the patient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)706-710
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Accuracy
  • Biomechanics
  • Precision
  • Reconstruction
  • Rib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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