Correlates of the peak height velocity in girls with idiopathic scoliosis

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2006 Sep 15;31(20):2289-95. doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000236844.41595.26.


Study design: Prospective longitudinal.

Objective: Determine correlates of the peak height velocity (PHV) in girls with idiopathic scoliosis.

Summary of background data: Only identifiable retrospectively, the PHV is the most useful known maturity marker in idiopathic scoliosis. Clinically useful correlates are needed to make PHV timing helpful.

Methods: A total of 24 immature girls with idiopathic scoliosis were followed with serial heights, sexual staging, skeletal ages, spinal radiographs, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, IGF binding protein-3, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, estradiol, bone-specific alkaline phosphatase, and osteocalcin levels. These markers were correlated to PHV timing.

Results: There were 14 girls who had identifiable growth peaks that averaged 10.5 +/- 1.8 cm/y at age 11.7 +/- 1 years. At the PHV, all girls were Risser 0 with open triradiate cartilages. On a skeletal age radiograph, digital uncapped phalangeal epiphyses were indicative of pre-PHV and fused epiphyses of post-PHV. Capped but unfused epiphyses were indeterminate. Tanner stage 1 for breast strongly indicates pre-PHV. Stage 3 for breast and pubic hair occurred at or after the PHV, and stage 4 always occurred after PHV. Higher IGF-1 and estradiol levels after PHV are potentially discriminatory.

Conclusions: The PHV occurs during Risser 0 with open triradiate cartilages. If triradiate cartilages are open, then Tanner stages, IGF-1, estradiol levels, and the appearance of the epiphyses on a skeletal age radiograph are useful in determining status before or after PHV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Height / physiology*
  • Child
  • Disease Progression
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Scoliosis / blood
  • Scoliosis / physiopathology*
  • Sexual Maturation / physiology
  • Spine / growth & development*


  • Biomarkers
  • Estradiol
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I