View Full Version : Long term follow up of pulmonary function>20 years in treated scoliosis

Karen Ocker
04-27-2007, 05:09 PM

Most patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis who are treated with posterior spinal surgery or bracing experience improved pulmonary function for up to 25 years after treatment, say the authors of a long-term follow-up study.

Pehrsson et al examined lung volumes and respiratory symptoms in 251 patients who had been treated for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis at least 20 years earlier: 141 treated surgically with posterior fusion and 110 with a brace. One hundred age- and gender-matched subjects without scoliosis served as controls.

All 251 scoliosis patients had undergone lung volume measurements before surgery or bracing. Repeat measurements were obtained a mean of 1.4 years after treatment in the surgical patients and a mean of 25 years after treatment in both groups.

Among the surgical patients, vital capacity (VC) as a percentage of predicted was 67% before treatment, 73% at the 1.4-year follow-up, and 84% at the most recent follow-up; forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) as a percentage of predicted was 71%, 78%, and 84%, respectively. Among the patients given braces, predicted VC rose from 77% before treatment to 89% at follow-up; predicted FEV1 increased from 84% to 91%. None of these measurements of lung volume were significantly different from those of controls.

The incidence of dyspnea was similarly low (3% or less) in all three groups. Wheezing was slightly more common in the scoliosis patients (33% in the surgical patients; 30% in those given braces) than in the controls (23%), but the difference did not reach significance.

The mean Cobb angles in the two treatment groups were 62° and 33°, respectively, before treatment, and 37° and 38°, respectively, at the 25-year follow-up. Neither pretreatment nor posttreatment Cobb angles correlated with the patients’ adult lung volumes.

Pehrsson K, Danielsson A, Nachemson A. Pulmonary function in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis: a 25 year follow up after surgery or start of brace treatment. Thorax. 2001;56:388-393.

07-06-2007, 11:31 PM
That's good to know. It makes sense.