European Spine Journal

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1332–1338 | Cite as

Asymmetry of the cross-sectional area of paravertebral and psoas muscle in patients with degenerative scoliosis

  • Hyoungmin Kim
  • Choon-Ki Lee
  • Jin S. Yeom
  • Jae Hyup Lee
  • Jae Hwan Cho
  • Sang Ik Shin
  • Hui-Jong Lee
  • Bong-Soon Chang
Original Article



This study was undertaken to assess the change of psoas and paravertebral muscles in patients with degenerative scoliosis.


Eighty-five patients with degenerative scoliosis were evaluated with simple radiography for the location and direction of the apex of scoliosis, coronal Cobb’s angle, rotational deformity and lumbar lordosis, and with magnetic resonance imaging scan at the apex level of each patient, the cross-sectional area (CSA) and the fatty infiltration rate (FI) of bilateral paravertebral and psoas muscles were measured and the values of convex and concave side were compared.


Fifty-three patients had apex of curves on the left side and thirty-two patients on the right. The mean Cobb’s angle was 17.9°. The difference index of CSA (CDI) of psoas and multifidus muscle at apex of curvature level was significantly larger in convex side rather than that in concave side (by 6.3 and 8.4 % with P = 0.019 and 0.000, respectively). FI of each muscle showed no significant difference.


Hypertrophy of the muscles on the convex side is suggested as the explanation of this asymmetry rather than atrophy of the muscles on the concave side as muscle atrophy is known to be associated with increased fatty infiltration.


Degenerative scoliosis Psoas Multifidus Erector spinae Paravertebral muscle Cross-sectional area Fatty degeneration 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyoungmin Kim
    • 1
  • Choon-Ki Lee
    • 1
  • Jin S. Yeom
    • 2
  • Jae Hyup Lee
    • 3
  • Jae Hwan Cho
    • 1
  • Sang Ik Shin
    • 1
  • Hui-Jong Lee
    • 1
  • Bong-Soon Chang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Seoul National University College of MedicineSeoul National University HospitalChongno-guKorea
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgerySeoul National University Bundang HospitalKyunggi-doKorea
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic SurgerySeoul Metropolitan Boramae HospitalSeoulKorea

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