Thirty-six patients with congenital scoliosis underwent full clinical and radiologic evaluation of their deformity and their full pulmonary functions.
This study observed pulmonary functions in congenital scoliosis in detail, evaluated pulmonary functions in nonsurgically treated patients, and established whether, in surgically treated patients, there are any differences between those with multipla thoracic anomalies and those with lumbar or one or two thoracic anornalies.
Summary of Background Data
Eighty-six of our patients in both groups (surgically and nonsurgically treated) showed abnormal increases in residual volumes, indicating restrictive pattern of lung function. The results of their pulmonary functions were analyzed using predicted values to eliminate age affect.
Pulmonary functions were assessed using the Gould 5000IV Computerized Pulmonary Function System.
Overall, mean total lung capacity was 89% of predicted value, and mean vital capacity and forced vital capacity were 74% of predicted value. The mean residual volume was significantly increased, being 154% of predicted value. Nonsurgically treated patients showed normal total lung capacity (mean 99.8% of predicted value); this mean value was 82% of predicted value in surgically treated patients.
Vital capacity was found to be significantly reduced in surgically treated patients (68% of predicted value), especially in those patients who had multiple thoracic anomalies. We believe that children with congenital scoliosis due to multiple anomalies should be operated on at an early age before deformity is too severe.