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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-22

Dorsal arthrodesis in prepubertal New Zealand white rabbits followed to skeletal maturity: Effect on thoracic dimensions, spine growth and neural elements


1 Service de Chirurgie Orthopédique Pédiatrique - CHU Hôpital Lapeyronie, 371, Avenue du Doyen G. Giraud 34295 Montpellier, France; Department of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery - Shriners Hospital - 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97225 USA
2 Service de Chirurgie Orthopédique Pédiatrique - CHU Hôpital Lapeyronie, 371, Avenue du Doyen G. Giraud 34295 Montpellier, France
3 Department of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery - Shriners Hospital - 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97225 USA
4 Dipartimento di Scienze Animali - Università di Udine, Via delle Scienze, 206 - 30100 Udine, Italy
5 Departement d'Anesthesie et Reanimation A - CHU Montpellier - 371, Avenue du Doyen G. Giraud 34295 Montpellier, France
6 CSPA, Settore Stabulario Sperimentazione Animale - Università di Trieste, Via Valerio, 28 - 34127 Trieste, Italy
7 Dipartimento di Diagnostica per Immagini, Struttura Complessa di Radiodiagnostica, Ospedale Maggiore, Piazza Ospedale, 1 - 34000 Trieste, Italy

Correspondence Address:
Federico Canavese
Department of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery, Shriners Hospital, 3101 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97225, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5413.57280

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Background: Several studies have shown that severe spinal deformity and early arthrodesis can adversely affect the development of the spine and thorax by changing their shape and reducing their normal function. This article analyzes the consequences of posterior fusion on the growth of spine, thorax and neural elements in New Zealand white rabbits and compares with similar human data. Materials and Methods : The first section of the article analyzes the consequences of T1-T6 dorsal arthrodesis on the growth of the spine, sternum, thorax volume and neural elements in 12 prepubertal female New Zealand white rabbits, through a study of CT scans and histology specimens. The second part, evaluates thoracic dimensions in 21 children with spinal arthrodesis for treatment of deformity performed prior to nine years of age. Results: Dorsal arthrodesis in prepubertal rabbits changes thoracic growth patterns. In operated rabbits thoracic depth grows more slowly than thoracic width. The sternum as well as length of thoracic vertebral bodies in the spinal segment T1-T6 show reduced growth. Children undergoing spinal arthrodesis before nine years of age were noted to have shortened height, short trunk and disproportionate body habitus at skeletal maturity. Observed spine height and chest dimension values were reduced compared to the expected norms. The ratio between chest width and chest depth was below normal values. Conclusions: The first part of the study shows that thoracic dorsal arthrodesis in prepubertal New Zealand white rabbit influences thoracic, spine growth and affects the shape of pseudo unipolar neurons of the dorsal root ganglia. The second part demonstrates that children treated before nine years of age have significantly reduced spine height and thoracic dimensions. The thorax becomes elliptical as chest depth grows less than chest width. Both experimental and clinical findings contribute to explain reduced chest growth and subsequent thoracic growth disturbance in patients treated with early arthrodesis.


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