The Dimeglio Olecranon Method Is Reliable in Diverse, Contemporary Patients for Predicting Future Growth.

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BACKGROUND: Growth assessment, which relies on a combination of radiographic and clinical markers, is an integral part of clinical decision-making in pediatric orthopaedics. The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of the Diméglio skeletal age system using a modern cohort of pediatric patients.

METHODS: A retrospective review was undertaken of all patients at a large tertiary pediatric hospital who had lateral forearm radiographs (before the age of 14 y for females and before 16 y for males). In addition, all of these patients had height measurements within 60 days of their forearm x-ray and a final height listed in their medical records. The x-rays were graded by 5 reviewers according to the Diméglio skeletal age system. Inter and intraobserver reliability was tested.

RESULTS: One hundred forty-seven patients with complete radiographs and height data were evaluated by 5 observers ranging in experience from medical students to senior pediatric orthopaedic surgeons. The Diméglio system demonstrated excellent reliability across levels of training with an intraobserver correlation coefficient of 0.995 (95% CI, 0.991-0.997) and an interobserver correlation coefficient of 0.906 (95% CI, 0.857-0.943). When the Diméglio stage was paired with age and sex in a multivariable linear regression model predicting the percent of final height, the adjusted R2 was 78.7% (model P value <0.001), suggesting a strong relationship between the Diméglio stage (plus age and sex) and percent of final height.

CONCLUSION: This unique approach to maturity assessment demonstrates that the Diméglio staging system can be used effectively in a modern, diverse patient population.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II; retrospective cohort study.

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Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics





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This article was published in Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, Volume 43, Issue 3, pages e249-e253.

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