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Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2017 Feb 15;42(4):E234-E240. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000001744.

Role of Ethnicity in Alignment Compensation: Propensity Matched Analysis of Differential Compensatory Mechanism Recruitment Patterns for Sagittal Malalignment in 288 ASD Patients From Japan, Korea, and United States.

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*Spine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY †Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hospital for Joint Diseases, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY ‡Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea §Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Inha University, Incheon, Korea ¶Department of Neurosurgery, Chonnam University, Gwangju, Korea ||Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan **Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Shizuoka, Japan ††Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Dokkyo Medical University, Tochigi, Japan ‡‡Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Defense Medical College, Saitama, Japan §§Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Hospital Organization, Murayama Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan ¶¶Department of Neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco, LA ||||ISSGF, Littleton, CO.



Retrospective review of adult spinal deformity patients in a multiethnic database.


To investigate the role of ethnicity on recruitment of compensatory mechanisms for sagittal spinal deformity.


While the impacts of age, sex, and pelvic morphology on the ability to compensate for sagittal malalignment have been investigated, the role of ethnicity in compensatory mechanism recruitment is poorly understood.


Patients from USA (85% Caucasian) >25 y/o were propensity matched by age, sex, and pelvic incidence with patients from Korea and Japan. Only primary patients or those with existing fusion below T12 were retained for analysis. Groups were subclassified by deformity severity (aligned: sagittal vertical axis (SVA) <50 mm; moderate malalignment: SVA 50-100 mm; severe malalignment: SVA >100 mm). Radiographic measurements including pelvic retroversion, thoracic kyphosis, loss of lumbar lordosis (PI minus LL), cervical lordosis, and cervical SVA were compared between the groups.


There were 288 patients (96 each in USA, KOR, JPN), with similar age (64-67 yr) and PI (49-53°). USA had smaller pelvic incidence minus lumbar lordosis in every alignment group (P <0.05). In moderate malalignment, JPN had more pelvic retroversion than USA (30° vs. 20°), and KOR had more thoracic hypokyphosis than USA (15 vs. 31°). In severe malalignment, JPN had more pelvic retroversion than USA (39° vs. 27°), and KOR had more thoracic hypokyphosis than USA (15° vs. 31°). KOR had smaller cSVA than USA in both aligned (11 vs. 27 mm) and moderate (19 vs. 31 mm) malalignment. In severe malalignment, KOR had less cervical lordosis (13° KOR vs. 15° USA vs. 27° JPN). All differences with P <0.05.


Compensation for sagittal is ethnicity dependent. Korean patients favor thoracic compensation via hypokyphosis, and Japanese patients favor pelvic compensation via retroversion. Patient ethnicity should be considered when evaluating the sagittal plane and surgical correction strategies.



[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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