Low BMI Tied to Better Surgical Scoliosis Curve Correction

Also linked to preoperative coagulation abnormality, asthma incidence, and post-op ileus

TUESDAY, Jan. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- For patients undergoing spinal fusion for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), low body mass index (BMI) is associated with greater percent correction of thoracic curves, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of Spine.

Roslyn C. Tarrant, Ph.D., from Our Lady's Children's Hospital in Dublin, and colleagues analyzed data from 77 patients (mean age, 15.04 years) with AIS who underwent one-stage posterior spinal fusion and correction at two tertiary centers between January 2010 and April 2012. Using the British 1990 growth reference data, preoperative weight, corrected height, and BMI values were converted to z scores.

The researchers found that 27.3 percent of participants had a low preoperative BMI, and 6.5 percent were considered severely thin. There was a greater percent correction of thoracic curves associated with lower BMI and weight z scores (both P < 0.05). Low BMI correlated significantly with preoperative asthma incidence (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 5.33; P = 0.023); prolonged prothrombin time (aOR, 4.53;P = 0.027); and postoperative ileus development (aOR, 11.96, P = 0.019). The BMI groups did not differ significantly with respect to preoperative Cobb angle, estimated intraoperative blood loss, and length of hospital stay.

"Low BMI was independently associated with preoperative asthma incidence, prolonged preoperative prothrombin time, as well as postoperative ileus, a finding that warrants further analysis in future studies," the authors write.

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