Prevalence of scoliosis in cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2013 Jun;48(6):553-5. doi: 10.1002/ppul.22624. Epub 2012 Jul 23.


Background: The prevalence of idiopathic scoliosis in the general pediatric population is reported to be between 0.5% and 3.2%. Previous studies have reported an increased prevalence of scoliosis in children with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Hypothesis: The prevalence of scoliosis in CF children is greater than in the normal population.

Methods: Chest X-rays of 319 patients attending the Royal Brompton CF Centre were reviewed. The Cobb angle of any spinal lateral curvature was measured. Scoliosis was defined as a Cobb angle of more than 10°.

Results: Median age of the whole group of patients was 10.9 years (range 1.1-18 years), 53% were females. Seven patients (2.2%) had radiological signs of scoliosis, their mean age was 14.5 ± 2.3 years (range: 11.5-18 years), 5 were females. Age at onset of scoliosis was between 5 and 10 years for three patients and over 10 years for the others. All the curves were thoracic and with right convexity: apices between T7 and T9 for the single curves (n = 5) and between T4 and T5 (n = 2) for the double curves.

Conclusion: CF patients showed a similar prevalence of scoliosis as in the normal population (2.2% vs. 0.5-3.2%). There was the same gender (female) and side (right-sided) predilection as in normal population.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography
  • Scoliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Scoliosis / epidemiology
  • Scoliosis / etiology*