The Height-Width-Depth Ratios of the Intervertebral Discs and Vertebral Bodies in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis vs Controls in a Chinese Population

Chen, Hao, Schlösser, Tom P.C., Brink, Rob C., Colo, DIno, Van Stralen, Marijn, Shi, Lin, Chu, Winnie C W, Heng, Pheng-Ann, Castelein, RM, Cheng, Jack C Y


Scientific Reports 7


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients have been reported to be taller and more slender than normal controls, suggesting less mechanical stiffness of their trunk and spine. For assessment of mechanical stiffness, to our best knowledge this is the first to study height-width-depth relations at the level of the individual vertebra and disc in 3-D and to evaluate its relation with the Cobb angle severity. A unique series of high-resolution pre-operative computed tomographic (CT) scans of a total of 105 Chinese patients with moderate to severe AIS and 11 age-matched non-scoliotic controls were used for this study. It was found that some geometric relations differed between primary thoracic curves, secondary curves and normal controls at the individual affected vertebra and disc level. The scoliotic discs in the primary curves were relatively more slender (taller and thinner) than in secondary curves and as compared to controls. In the lumbar spinal area, the vertebral bodies were more slender in the primary as well as secondary AIS curves as compared to the controls. Therefore, if all material properties remain the same, our finding indicates that scoliotic spines may be mechanically less stiff than normal spines. No significant correlation between any of the measures and Cobb angle severity was found.