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Intrathecal baclofen pumps do not accelerate progression of scoliosis in quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy

Abstract

Purpose

To compare scoliosis progression in quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy with and without intrathecal baclofen (ITB) pumps.

Methods

A retrospective matched cohort study was conducted. Patients with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, GMFCS level 5, treated with ITB pumps with follow-up >1 year were matched to comparable cases by age and baseline Cobb angle without ITB pumps. Annual and peak coronal curve progression, pelvic obliquity progression and need for spinal fusion were compared.

Results

ITB group: 25 patients (9 female), mean age at pump insertion 9.4 and Risser 0.9. Initial Cobb angle 25.6° and pelvic tilt 3.2°. Follow-up 4.3 (1.0–7.8) years. Cobb angle at follow-up 76.1° and pelvic tilt 18.9°. Non-ITB group: 25 patients (14 female), mean age at baseline 9.2 and Risser 1.0. Initial Cobb angle 29.7° and pelvic tilt 7.1°. Follow-up 3.5 (1.0–7.5) years. Cobb angle at follow-up 69.1° and pelvic tilt 21.0°. The two groups were statistically similar for baseline age, Cobb angle and Risser grade. Mean curve progression was 13.6°/year for the ITB group vs 12.6°/year for the non-ITB group (p = 0.39). Peak curve progression was similar between the groups. Pelvic tilt progression was comparable; ITB group 4.5°/year vs non-ITB 4.6°/year (p = 0.97). During follow-up 5 patients in the ITB group and 9 in the non-ITB group required spinal fusion surgery for curve progression (p = 0.35).

Conclusions

Patients with quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy with and without ITB pumps showed significant curve progression over time. ITB pumps do not appear to alter the natural history of curve progression in this population.

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Correspondence to Paul R. P. Rushton.

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Rushton, P.R.P., Nasto, L.A., Aujla, R.K. et al. Intrathecal baclofen pumps do not accelerate progression of scoliosis in quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy. Eur Spine J 26, 1652–1657 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-016-4598-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-016-4598-x

Keywords

  • Scoliosis
  • Intrathecal baclofen
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Spastic quadriplegia