Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Vitamin D Sufficiency Screening in Preoperative Pediatric Orthopaedic Patients

Parry, Joshua BS; Sullivan, Elroy PhD; Scott, Allison Cooper MD

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: April/May 2011 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 331–333
doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e3182104a94
Selected Topics

Background Vitamin D is a critical factor in bone metabolism. Vitamin D levels in both children and adults have been reevaluated to assess standards for sufficiency and deficiency. In the adult population, the currently recommended level for Vitamin D sufficiency is greater than 32 ng/mL measured by 25-hydroxyvitamin D assay. Recommended levels for growing children have not been definitively determined; however, scales based on available literature have been used. The purpose of this study was to evaluate Vitamin D sufficiency in pediatric orthopaedic patients admitted to the hospital for surgical procedures which require bone healing.

Methods Serum 25 hydroxyvitamin D (25 OHD) levels measured by immunochemoluminometric assay were obtained on consecutive pediatric orthopaedic patients admitted electively for long bone osteotomies or spinal fusions over a 10-month period. Seventy patients ranging in age from 2 to 19 years were screened for Vitamin D sufficiency. Vitamin D levels were examined for correlation with age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), BMI percentile, orthopaedic diagnosis, and season.

Results Total 90% of the screened patients had 25 OH vitamin D levels below 32 ng/mL. African American children were more likely to have severe Vitamin D deficiency (P=0.013). Vitamin D levels were lower in the winter months (P=0.046). When 20 ng/mL was used as a cutoff, the average age of children below this cutoff was higher than those above (P=0.018). There was no correlation of Vitamin D levels with sex, BMI, BMI percentile, residence in Mexico, and diagnosis.

Conclusions Total 90% of the children in the screening group were at risk for poor bone healing owing to Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency. African American children, in particular, should be evaluated for Vitamin D sufficiency before orthopaedic surgeries. Further work must be done to determine the impact of Vitamin D insufficiency on surgical outcomes.

Level of Evidence Diagnostic study, III.

*University of Texas Medical School at Houston

Shriners Hospital for Children, Houston, TX

Supported partially by Grant T35 DK007676-17 from National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Reprint: Allison Scott, MD, 6977 Main Street, Houston, TX 77030. e-mail:

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.