Geodesic Logistic Analysis of Lumbar Spine Intervertebral Disc Shapes in Supine and Standing Positions

Ye Han, James Fishbaugh, Christian E. Gonzalez, Donald A. Aboyotes, Jared Vicory, Simon Y. Tang, Beatriz Paniagua

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Non-specific lower back pain (LBP) is a world-wide public health problem that affects people of all ages. Despite the high prevalence of non-specific LBP and the associated economic burdens, the pathoanatomical mechanisms for the development and course of the condition remain unclear. While intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is associated with LBP, there is overlapping occurrence of IDD in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, suggesting that degeneration alone cannot identify LBP populations. Previous work has been done trying to relate linear measurements of compression obtained from Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to pain unsuccessfully. To bridge this gap, we propose to use advanced non-Euclidean statistical shape analysis methods to develop biomarkers that can help identify symptomatic and asymptomatic adults who might be susceptible to standing-induced LBP. We scanned 4 male and 7 female participants who exhibited lower back pain after prolonged standing using an Open Upright MRI. Supine and standing MRIs were obtained for each participant. Patients reported their pain intensity every fifteen minutes within a period of 2 h. Using our proposed geodesic logistic regression, we related the structure of their lower spine to pain and computed a regression model that can delineate lower spine structures using reported pain intensities. These results indicate the feasibility of identifying individuals who may suffer from lower back pain solely based on their spinal anatomy. Our proposed spinal shape analysis methodology have the potential to provide powerful information to the clinicians so they can make better treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShape in Medical Imaging - International Workshop, ShapeMI 2023, Held in Conjunction with MICCAI 2023, Proceedings
EditorsChristian Wachinger, Beatriz Paniagua, Shireen Elhabian, Jianning Li, Jan Egger
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9783031469138
StatePublished - 2023
EventInternational Workshop on Shape in Medical Imaging, ShapeMI 2023 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Oct 8 2023Oct 8 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume14350 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Shape in Medical Imaging, ShapeMI 2023


  • geodesic logistic regression
  • intervertebral disc degeneration
  • longitudinal shape analysis


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