Scoliosis in spinal muscular atrophy: is the preoperative magnetic resonance imaging necessary?

Spine Deform. 2020 Oct;8(5):1089-1091. doi: 10.1007/s43390-020-00134-0. Epub 2020 Jul 15.


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of intraspinal alterations in scoliosis due to Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

Methods: Cross-sectional, observational, descriptive study. Fifty-six patients with SMA diagnosis required surgical treatment due to scoliosis.

Inclusion criteria: scoliosis/kyphoscoliosis > 50 degrees in the coronal plane, clinical characteristics of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, accurate diagnosis by means of molecular or genetic study. Prior to the spinal surgery, and to find related intraspinal alterations, MRI of the spine and posterior cranial fossa was performed.

Results: Forty females, 16 males, mean age 11 years (range 6-14 years). 94% of the patients had Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2. The mean angle value was 81 degrees (range 53-122 degrees) in the coronal plane and 62 degrees (range 35-80 degrees) in the sagittal plane. The prevalence of intraspinal alterations was 1.78%. One patient with cervical hydromyelia and no neurological surgical procedure prior to the spinal deformity surgery was reported.

Conclusions: In the context of preoperative planning and strategy of patients with scoliosis due to Spinal Muscular Atrophy, MRI may have not to be requested.

Keywords: Magnetic resonance imaging; Scoliosis; Spinal muscular atrophy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / complications*
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / diagnostic imaging
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal / surgery
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Preoperative Period
  • Scoliosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Scoliosis / epidemiology
  • Scoliosis / etiology*
  • Scoliosis / surgery
  • Spine / diagnostic imaging
  • Spine / surgery