Lung Function in Congenital Kyphosis and Kyphoscoliosis : Clinical Spine Surgery

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Original Articles

Lung Function in Congenital Kyphosis and Kyphoscoliosis

McMaster, Michael J. MD, FRCS*; Glasby, Michael A. MA, MD, DSc, FRCS*; Singh, Harwant PhD, FRCS*; Cunningham, Steve MB, PhD, MRCP, MRCPCH

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Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques 20(3):p 203-208, May 2007. | DOI: 10.1097/01.bsd.0000211270.51368.43



To quantify the respiratory compromise in patients with a congenital kyphosis or kyphoscoliosis in whom the major deformity is the kyphosis.


Forty-one patients with congenital vertebral anomalies resulting in a kyphosis or kyphoscoliosis, in which the kyphosis was the major deformity, and requiring spine surgery were studied retrospectively. The preoperative respiratory function and radiographic spinal assessments were compared.


Twenty-two patients (54%) had an impairment of respiratory function: 2 patients (5%) were severely affected, 8 patients (20%) were moderately affected, and 12 patients (29%) were mildly affected.


An increasing severity of kyphosis was associated with a significant increase in respiratory impairment (P<0.005). A more cranial level of the kyphosis, especially above T10, had a significantly greater effect on respiratory impairment (P<0.001). One untreated patient with a severe kyphosis (128 degrees) died from cor pulmonale.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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