Every year, the Italian Scoliosis Study Group selects the best published papers on conservative spine treatment from the global scientific literature.
Here is the abstract from one of these papers.
Morphological changes of Intervertebral Disc detectable by T2-weighted MRI and its correlation with curve severity in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis
Kwong Hang Yeung, Gene Chi Wai Man, Min Deng, Tsz Ping Lam, Jack Chun Yiu Cheng,
Ka Chi Chan, Winnie Chiu Wing Chu
BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2022 Jul 10;23(1):655. doi: 10.1186/s12891-022-05561
Background: Our previous studies found disproportionate anteroposterior vertebral size is associated with severity of the scoliotic curves in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients. Subsequent studies showed wedging of vertebral bodies (VB) had less contribution than intervertebral discs (IVD) to the anterior-posterior vertebral column length discrepancy in severe-AIS. However, the exact morphological changes of IVD were not clearly defined. This study aimed to evaluate the morphological and pathological changes of IVD and VB in AIS girls and healthy female controls.
Methods: This study included 33 age-matched female controls and 76 AIS girls with a right-sided thoracic curvature. Wedge angle, height ratio and distance ratio of VB and IVD were measured on the best midline coronal and sagittal planes from reformatted MRI spine. Volumes of VB, IVD and nucleus pulposus (NP) were also evaluated on volumetric images. One-way ANOVA with Bonferroni correction and Pearson correlation tests were used.
Results: There was significant difference in wedge angle and height ratio of VB and IVD between AIS and controls. In severe-AIS, the position of NP was significantly shifted to the convexity when compared with non-severe AIS and controls. Whereas, the volume of IVD and NP in severe-AIS was found to be significantly smaller. In addition, Cobb angle was significantly correlated with wedge angle and height ratio, and inversely correlated with the volume of NP.
Conclusions: In addition to wedging of VB and IVD, there was significantly reduced volume of IVD and NP in AIS patients with severe curve, insinuating the mechanical effect of scoliosis leads to a compression on both IVD and NP before significant disc desiccation occurs. We postulate that the compression of IVD and NP can contribute to curve progression in severe-AIS, these patients are more prone to disc degeneration in adulthood if no operative treatment is offered. Further longitudinal study on these parameters is still warranted.
Keywords: Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis; Healthy controls; Intervertebral disc; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Nucleus pulposus; T2-weighted; Vertebral wedging; Volume.