The reliability of patient positioning for evaluating static radiologic parameters of the human pelvis

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1993; 16:517-522


Objective: To determine the reproducibility of patient positioning on radiographically evaluated static configurations of the human pelvis.

Design: Repeat anteroposterior radiography of the human pelvis was performed in vivo. Comparative examinations were performed after 1 hour in one subject pool. A second sample underwent repeat examination after a mean of 18 days

Setting: Outpatient private practice chiropractic clinic.

Subjects: Thirty-seven relatively asymptomatic subjects participated in the experiment.

Main Outcome Measures: Millimetric evaluations were made for leg length inequality, right/left sacral discrepancies and right/left innominate differences. The null hypothesis was that the difference of the measurements from the two radiographs would be equal to zero. A paired t-test was used to analyze if there were any significant differences. The mean measured difference in millimeters and correlation coefficients were also determined for each variable.

Results: Individual variations for several roentgenometric parameters, including leg length inequality and pelvic torsion, did not reach statistical significance (p >.05) although minor millimetric discrepancies were recorded. Correlation coefficients, in most cases, were relatively high.

Conclusion: A subject can be reliably positioned for repeat anteroposterior pelvic radiography for both 1 hour and 18 day intervals. The methodology described has applicability to full spine radiography when roentgenometric parameters of the pelvis are scrutinized.