, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 1230-1238
Date: 10 Jan 2006

Surgical correction of spinal deformities after solid organ transplantation in childhood

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A review of the current literature reveals no systematic analyses of the results of surgical correction of spinal deformity after pediatric organ transplantation. We therefore evaluated clinical and radiographic outcomes of spinal deformity correction after solid organ transplantation in childhood and adolescence. All 211 cases of heart, liver, and kidney transplantations performed in children in our country were reviewed. Six patients had undergone surgical correction of spinal deformity at a mean age 14.6 (range 12–17) years. Clinical data of the patients were evaluated. Radiographs of the whole spine were taken preoperatively, immediately after, at 2-year, and final follow-up visits. The Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) questionnaire was completed and a physical examination was performed at the final follow-up visit. The mean follow-up after spinal surgery was 4.9 years (range 2–7.6 years). Four patients developed scoliosis after organ transplantation without any evidence of scoliosis prior to organ transplantation. One patient with congenital scoliosis was operated on after kidney transplantation. One boy had osteoporosis and severe local kyphosis due to vertebral compression fractures. Four patients underwent anterior and posterior surgery, two posterior only. The mean preoperative Cobb angle of the thoracic curve was 54° (range 42–69°) in the patients with scoliosis. The postoperative values were 30° (26–38°) immediately after instrumentation and 39° (34–42°) at the final follow-up visit. The patient with vertebral compression fractures and progressive kyphosis had 70° curve before surgery, 23° immediately after the operation, and 60° at the final check up. The mean total score on the SRS questionnaire was 95.5 (range 90–101). There is a relatively high incidence (2.8%) of spinal deformities needing operative treatment after solid organ transplantation. Possible etiologies for spinal deformities are growth disturbance and muscle weakness due to the basic disease. The other important factors are related to immunosupressive medication, especially glucocorticoids needed after transplantation. Primary correction of these deformities was satisfactory, but during follow-up, a certain amount of recurrence of the curves was evident. Poor bone quality may explain some of the loss of correction.