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Vertebral, rib, and intraspinal anomalies in congenital scoliosis: a study on 202 Caucasians

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To investigate vertebral, rib and intraspinal anomalies in patients with congenital scoliosis and their association with each other


Clinical data and preoperative imaging studies of 202 Caucasians with congenital scoliosis operated on at an educational hospital within 6 years were reviewed for vertebral, rib, and intraspinal anomalies.


Rib and intraspinal anomalies were present in 57.4 and 21.8 % of patients, respectively. Most vertebral anomalies were located in the middle–lower thorax. Being the most common vertebral defect (53.5 %), failure of segmentation was significantly more common in males, whereas mixed defects were more frequent in females. Formation and mixed defects were associated with rib changes. Vertebral anomalies were more extensive in males than in females. The presence of multiple hemivertebrae was associated with rib deformity and intraspinal anomaly. Location of the vertebral anomalies varied with gender and rib involvement. Majority of rib changes were of simple type (70.7 %), significantly more common in males. Conversely, females had significantly more fused and bifid ribs. Two most common intraspinal anomalies were diastematomyelia (36.4 %) and syringomyelia (18.2 %). Intraspinal anomalies were located most frequently in the upper and lower thoracic regions. Syringomyelia and low conus were associated with female gender, and patients with rib changes suffered from intraspinal anomalies more frequently. No significant association was found between vertebral and intraspinal anomalies.


The incidences of rib and intraspinal anomalies were 57.4 and 21.8 % in surgical Caucasians with congenital scoliosis, respectively. Unlike vertebral and intraspinal anomalies, rib and intraspinal anomalies were significantly associated. Male gender and intraspinal anomaly were associated with some previously suggested risk factors of curve progression.

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Correspondence to Daniel Fadaei Fouladi.

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Ghandhari, H., Tari, H.V., Ameri, E. et al. Vertebral, rib, and intraspinal anomalies in congenital scoliosis: a study on 202 Caucasians. Eur Spine J 24, 1510–1521 (2015).

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