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Pediatr Neurol. 2017 May;70:20-25. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2017.01.032. Epub 2017 Feb 7.

Scoliosis in Rett Syndrome: Progression, Comorbidities, and Predictors.

Author information

1
University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama.
2
University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Civitan International Research Center, Birmingham, Alabama.
3
Health Informatics Institute, Department of Pediatrics, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
4
Greenwood Genetic Center, Greenwood, South Carolina.
5
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
6
University of California San Diego, San Diego, California.
7
University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama; University of Alabama at Birmingham, Civitan International Research Center, Birmingham, Alabama. Electronic address: apercy@uab.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Scoliosis is prominent in Rett syndrome (RTT). Following the prior report from the US Natural History Study, the onset and progression of severe scoliosis (≥40° Cobb angle) and surgery were examined regarding functional capabilities and specific genotypes, addressing the hypothesis that abnormal muscle tone, poor oral feeding, puberty, and delays or absence of sitting balance and ambulation may be responsible for greater risk in RTT.

METHODS:

The multicenter RTT Natural History Study gathered longitudinal data for classic RTT, including mutation type, scoliosis, muscle tone, sitting, ambulation, hand function, and feeding. Cox regression models were used to examine the association between scoliosis and functional characteristics. All analyses utilized SAS 9.4; two-sided P values of <0.05 were considered significant.

RESULTS:

A total of 913 females with classic RTT were included. Scoliosis frequency and severity increased with age. Severe scoliosis was found in 251 participants (27%), 113 of whom developed severe scoliosis during the follow-up assessments; 168 (18%) had surgical correction. Severe MECP2 mutations (R106W, R168X, R255X, R270X, and large deletions) showed a higher proportion of scoliosis. Individuals developing severe scoliosis or requiring surgery were less likely to sit, ambulate, or use their hands and were more likely to have begun puberty. Significant differences were absent for epilepsy rates, sleep problems, or constipation.

DISCUSSION:

Scoliosis requires vigilance regarding the risk factors noted, particularly specific mutations and the role of puberty and motor abilities. Bracing is recommended for moderate curves and surgery for severe curves in accordance with published guidelines for scoliosis management.

KEYWORDS:

MECP2 mutations; Rett syndrome; puberty; scoliosis; surgery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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