Generalized low areal and volumetric bone mineral density in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

J. C.Y. Cheng, L. Qin, C. S.K. Cheung, A. H.L. Sher, K. M. Lee, S. W.E. Ng, Xia Guo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

143 Citations (Scopus)


Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) may be associated with generalized low bone mineral status. The bone mineral density (BMD) of 75 girls of 12-14 years of age and diagnosed as having AIS were compared with 94 age-matched female control subjects. Areal BMD (aBMD) of the lumbar spine (L2-L4) and the bilateral proximal femur were measured using -energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), and volumetric BMD (vBMD) of the nondominant distal radius and bilateral distal tibias was measured with peripheral quantitative computer tomography (pQCT). Relevant anthropometric parameters and the severity of the spinal deformity (Cobb's angle) also were evaluated and correlated with the BMD measurements. Results revealed the presence of a generalized lower bone mineral status in AIS patients. Detailed analysis showed that the aBMD and vBMD measured at the bilateral lower extremities were significantly lower in AIS patients when compared with the same in the normal controls. The most significant effect was seen in the trabecular BMD (tBMD) of the distal tibias. Of all the AIS girls, 38% of the aBMD and 36% of the vBMD were below -1 SD of the normal. BMD was found to correlate better with 'years since menarche' (YSM) than with chronological age. When the BMD was evaluated for the 3 YSM groups, aBMD of the proximal femur and tBMD of distal tibias were found to be significantly lower in the AIS patients. Neither the aBMD nor the vBMD of AIS patients was found to be associated with the severity of spinal deformity. In addition, anthropometric measurements showed significantly longer arm span and lower extremities in the AIS girls. We concluded that the AIS girls had generalized lower aBMDs and vBMDs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1587-1595
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bone and Mineral Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Bone mineral density
  • Dual- energy X-ray absorptiometry
  • Osteopenia
  • Peripheral quantitative computer tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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