Scoping Review with Topic Modeling on the Diagnostic Criteria for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy

Stavros Matsoukas, Carl Moritz Zipser, Freschta Zipser-Mohammadzada, Najmeh Kheram, Andrea Boraschi, Zhilin Jiang, Lindsay Tetreault, Michael G. Fehlings, Benjamin M. Davies, Konstantinos Margetis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Study Design: This study is a scoping review. Objective: There is a broad variability in the definition of degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) and no standardized set of diagnostic criteria to date. Methods: We interrogated the Myelopathy.org database, a hand-indexed database of primary clinical studies conducted exclusively on DCM in humans between 2005-2021. The DCM inclusion criteria used in these studies were inputted into 3 topic modeling algorithms: Hierarchical Dirichlet Process (HDP), Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), and BERtopic. The emerging topics were subjected to manual labeling and interpretation. Results: Of 1676 reports, 120 papers (7.16%) had well-defined inclusion criteria and were subjected to topic modeling. Four topics emerged from the HDP model: disturbance from extremity weakness and motor signs; fine-motor and sensory disturbance of upper extremity; a combination of imaging and clinical findings is required for the diagnosis; and “reinforcing” (or modifying) factors that can aid in the diagnosis in borderline cases. The LDA model showed the following topics: disturbance to the patient is required for the diagnosis; reinforcing factors can aid in the diagnosis in borderline cases; clinical findings from the extremities; and a combination of imaging and clinical findings is required for the diagnosis. BERTopic identified the following topics: imaging abnormality, typical clinical features, range of objective criteria, and presence of clinical findings. Conclusions: This review provides quantifiable data that only a minority of past studies in DCM provided meaningful inclusion criteria. The items and patterns found here are very useful for the development of diagnostic criteria for DCM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • cervical
  • degenerative
  • disc herniation
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • myelopathy
  • spinal cord injury

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