Spinal instability neoplastic score: An analysis of reliability and validity from the spine Oncology Study Group

Daryl R. Fourney, Evan M. Frangou, Timothy C. Ryken, Christian P. DiPaola, Christopher I. Shaffrey, Sigurd H. Berven, Mark H. Bilsky, James S. Harrop, Michael G. Fehlings, Stefano Boriani, Dean Chou, Meic H. Schmidt, David W. Polly, Roberto Biagini, Shane Burch, Mark B. Dekutoski, Aruna Ganju, Peter C. Gerszten, Ziya L. Gokaslan, Michael W. GroffNorbert J. Liebsch, Ehud Mendel, Scott H. Okuno, Shreyaskumar Patel, Laurence D. Rhines, Peter S. Rose, Daniel M. Sciubba, Narayan Sundaresan, Katsuro Tomita, Peter P. Varga, Luiz R. Vialle, Frank D. Vrionis, Yoshiya Yamada, Charles G. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

292 Scopus citations


Purpose: Standardized indications for treatment of tumor-related spinal instability are hampered by the lack of a valid and reliable classification system. The objective of this study was to determine the interobserver reliability, intraobserver reliability, and predictive validity of the Spinal Instability Neoplastic Score (SINS). Methods: Clinical and radiographic data from 30 patients with spinal tumors were classified as stable, potentially unstable, and unstable by members of the Spine Oncology Study Group. The median category for each patient case (consensus opinion) was used as the gold standard for predictive validity testing. On two occasions at least 6 weeks apart, each rater also scored each patient using SINS. Each total score was converted into a three-category data field, with 0 to 6 as stable, 7 to 12 as potentially unstable, and 13 to 18 as unstable. Results: The ≲καππ α∀ statistics for interobserver reliability were 0.790, 0.841, 0.244, 0.456, 0.462, and 0.492 for the fields of location, pain, bone quality, alignment, vertebral body collapse, and posterolateral involvement, respectively. The ≲καππα∀ statistics for intraobserver reliability were 0.806, 0.859, 0.528, 0.614, 0.590, and 0.662 for the same respective fields. Intraclass correlation coefficients for inter- and intraobserver reliability of total SINS score were 0.846 (95% CI, 0.773 to 0.911) and 0.886 (95% CI, 0.868 to 0.902), respectively. The ≲καππα∀ statistic for predictive validity was 0.712 (95% CI, 0.676 to 0.766). Conclusion: SINS demonstrated near-perfect inter- and intraobserver reliability in determining three clinically relevant categories of stability. The sensitivity and specificity of SINS for potentially unstable or unstable lesions were 95.7% and 79.5%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3072-3077
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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