Girls with severe AIS curve experience rapid skeletal growth rate

Compared with healthy age-matched controls, girls with severe adolescent idiopathic scoliosis experienced significantly different growth patterns, such as delayed menarche and faster skeletal growth rate between the ages of 12 to 16 years, according to a study in Spine.

Researchers recorded anthropometric parameters and growth patterns in 194 girls with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and 116 healthy controls until skeletal maturity. Patients with AIS were grouped into moderate (AIS20) and severe curve (AIS40) groups on the basis of maximum curve magnitude at skeletal maturity. Groups of patients were compared within different age groups from the ages of 12 to 16 years in a cross-sectional analysis.

Results showed that girls with AIS were generally taller, with longer arm span and lower body mass index compared with healthy controls. At the age of 12 years, patients with AIS40 had significantly shorter height and arm span. However, study results showed that patients with AIS40 caught up in height and overtook the control group from ages 14 to 16 years. Patients with AIS40 also had a significantly higher growth rate of arm span vs. girls with AIS20 and controls. Menarche was delayed by 5.9 months in patients with AIS40 vs. the control group, and 3.8 months vs. patients with AIS20, according to study results.

The researchers suggested monitoring the rate of change in arm span of patients with AIS to help predict curve severity.

For more information:

Yim AP, Yeung HY, Hung VWY, et al. Abnormal skeletal growth patterns in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis — a longitudinal study until skeletal maturity. Spine. 2012;37:E1148-E1154.

Disclosure: The researchers had no relevant financial disclosures.

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