In adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), lung function impairment is not necessarily related to the coronal spinal deformity. Recently, right-sided bronchial narrowing has been reported in thoracic AIS. The aim of this study was to describe the relation of chest and spinal deformity parameters, bronchial narrowing, and lung volumes with pulmonary function in preoperative AIS.
Spinal radiographs, low-dose computed tomographic (CT) scans of the spine including the chest, and pulmonary function tests were retrospectively collected for 85 preoperative patients with thoracic AIS in 2 centers and were compared with 14 matched controls. Three-dimensional lung and airway reconstructions were acquired. Correlation analysis was performed in which radiographic spinal parameters, CT-based thoracic deformity parameters (rib-hump index [RHi], spinal penetration index, endothoracic hump ratio, hemithoracic-width ratio), lung volume asymmetry, and bronchial cross-sectional area were compared with percent-of-predicted spirometry results.
Forty-one patients (48%) had a percent-of-predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1%) or percent-of-predicted forced vital capacity (FVC%) of <65%, and 17 patients (20%) had obstructive lung disease. All thoracic deformity parameters correlated significantly with FEV1% and FVC%; RHi was found to be the best correlate (rs = −0.52 for FEV1% and −0.54 for FVC%). Patients with AIS with impaired pulmonary function had hypokyphosis, a larger rib hump, increased spinal and thoracic rotation, a narrower right hemithorax, and increased intrusion of the spine into the chest. Spinal intrusion correlated with right-sided bronchial narrowing, relative right lung volume loss, and decreased FEV1% and FVC%. Multivariate regression including spinal and thoracic deformity parameters, lung volume asymmetry, and airway parameters could explain 57% of the variance in FEV1% and 54% of the variance in FVC%.
Chest intrusion by the endothoracic hump is related to right-sided bronchial narrowing and lung function loss in preoperative AIS. The findings support the theory that ventilatory dysfunction in thoracic AIS is not only restrictive but frequently has an obstructive component, especially in patients with hypokyphosis. RHi is the most predictive chest parameter for lung function loss.
Level of Evidence:
Prognostic Level III. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.