Case Reports on Twins May Shed Light on Scoliosis

Physical activity may be linked to adolescent idiopathic scoliosis

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis seems to be multifactorial and the role of physical activity remains controversial, according to an article published in the August issue of Spine.

Michael E. Potoupnis, M.D., of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki-Medical School in Thessaloniki, Greece, and colleagues report the cases of two female athletes who are monozygotic twins and discordant for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. In addition to measurement of limb length and performance of the "forward bending test," observation for asymmetries of the lateral contours of the trunk, shoulders and scapulas were performed.

Based on screening, scoliosis was suspected in one of the twins, the researchers report. Radiologic evaluation demonstrating a left thoracolumbar curve of 32 degrees confirmed the existence of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. The clinical and radiologic evaluation of the other twin failed to reveal the existence of scoliosis, the investigators note. While twin discordance suggests an environmental etiology, the researchers question this hypothesis.

"Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is probably a multifactorial skeletal deformity. It seems that several factors, as exercising and heredity, are involved in its development," the authors write. "It is our belief that more studies are needed to better understand the potential connection (if any) between exercising and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis."

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