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The effect of scoliosis surgery on pulmonary function in spinal muscular atrophy patients: review of the literature and a meta-analysis

Abstract

Purpose

To determine the effect of surgical instrumentation on pulmonary function after surgery.

Methods

A literature review was performed to identify articles reporting on the effect of scoliosis surgery on the pulmonary function in patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Data for each patient were extracted from included studies, and a meta-analysis was performed using the values of forced vital capacity (FVC) before and after surgery.

Results

A total of 127 articles were reviewed, and ten articles were selected for data extraction according to inclusion criteria. The results of the meta-analysis showed no difference in respiratory function pre-operatively and at last follow-up. Four out of ten studies demonstrated similar results and five studies reported a decrease in pulmonary function after surgery. Only one study showed improvement in lung function.

Conclusion

At the moment, there is insufficient evidence in the literature to support that spinal surgery can improve respiratory function. According to our meta-analysis study, vital capacity remains either unchanged or the rate of deterioration is decreased after surgery. Nevertheless, these are both considered favorable outcomes taking into account the natural course of the disease with progressive deterioration of pulmonary function over time.

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Availability of data and material

Data are available.

Code availability

Not applicable.

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Correspondence to Alexander Hadjipavlou.

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Angeli, M., Alpantaki, K., Pandis, N. et al. The effect of scoliosis surgery on pulmonary function in spinal muscular atrophy patients: review of the literature and a meta-analysis. Eur Spine J (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-022-07182-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-022-07182-2

Keywords

  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Pulmonary function
  • Spinal surgery
  • Surgical correction