Rapid pulmonary function decline not always seen in adults with increased scoliosis deterioration

MINNEAPOLIS — Middle-aged individuals diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis before they were 10 years old underwent a decline in forced vital capacity and total lung capacity despite how deteriorated their condition was and the status of their pulmonary function, according to a presenter at the Scoliosis Research Society Annual Meeting, here.

Aina J. Danielsson, MD, PhD, said she and colleagues found both forced vital capacity and total lung capacity declined the same amount in a 4-year period in these patient regardless of whether they had reduced or normal pulmonary function.

“We can conclude that the age-related decline of pulmonary function did not differ between patients with reduced and normal pulmonary function. Thus, these data do not infer an increased rate of decline in the most deteriorated patients,” she said.

For the study, Danielsson and colleagues selected 20 patients with reduced pulmonary function and 19 patients with normal pulmonary function from an earlier 26-year study of 124 patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Onset occurred before age 10 and the patients were either braced or operated on prior to maturity.

The investigators followed the 39 patients in this study for 4 years and found, during that time, the forced vital capacity decline was similar in both groups. The decline in the reduced pulmonary function group was from 67% to 65% and in the normal pulmonary function group the decline was from 96% to 94%.

According to Danielsson, total lung capacity did not decline at all in either group through the latest follow-up – by Robert Linnehan


Danielsson AJ, et al. Paper #75. Presented at: Scoliosis Research Society Annual Meeting; Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 2015; Minneapolis.

Disclosure: Danielsson reports no relevant financial disclosures.

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