Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of using the spinal midline (M line) on a radiographic anteroposterior (AP) view for detecting pedicle screws (PSs) breaching the medial pedicle wall. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 145 patients who underwent fusion surgery using PSs between January 2006 and May 2017. We defined the M line as a line that connected the upper and lower spinous processes through the fixed vertebrae. The M line was positive if the tip of the PS crossed the M line. The reference standard was a computed tomography scan. The reliability of the M line was examined. Results: The subjects included 145 patients (70 men and 75 women; mean age, 63.4 years). A total of 599 PSs were examined. Most cases were because of spondylolisthesis (66.9%). Most screws were inserted at a lower lumber level (77.6%). Analysis of the diagnostic accuracy of the M line yielded a sensitivity of 74.1% and a specificity of 95.3%. In addition, the positive predictive value of the M line was 42.6%, and the negative predictive value of the M line was 98.7%. Conclusions: Assessment of the M line via an intraoperative radiographic AP view is a simple, readily available, complementary method for detecting PSs that have breached the medial pedicle wall in the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral spine. In particular, the M line has a strong negative predictive value, which is much more meaningful.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology