Thirty-three patients between the ages of nine and twenty with idiopathic scoliosis were subjected to a series of simple cardiac and pulmonary-function studies. None of these patients had received any surgical therapy.
Seventeen of the thirty-three (52 per cent) had significant reduction of pulmonary volume, best reflected by the vital capacity which showed good statistical correlation with both degree of lateral curvature and estimated rotation. The greater the curve, the greater was the deficit in the vital capacity.
Only one of these patients had significant subjective complaints, indicating the occult nature of these deficits in patients of this age.
No cardiac abnormalities were uncovered in this group of patients. Further work in this area is clearly indicated. It is essential to determine the natural course of this respiratory impairment over a period of years and to determine the effect of conservative and surgical correction of this deformity.
Copyright 1964 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated