A Cross-sectional Study of Chest Kinematics and VO2 in Children With Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis During Steady-state Walking

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Study Design.

A cross-sectional study.


The aim of this study was to identify the differences in oxygen consumption in children with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) and age-matched control subjects using traditional methods and chest kinematics.

Summary of Background Data.

AIS is a disorder affecting 2 to 3% of children between the ages of 10 and 16 and accounts for up to 85% of all scoliosis cases. The spinal deformities and subsequent rib conformational changes associated with AIS can have a significant deleterious effect on the oxygen consumption for children with mild to severe scoliosis. Previous studies found that the oxygen consumption in children with AIS was significantly more than that of peers and during walking require more energy than typically developing children.


Thirty children (four male, 26 female), 11.7 to 18.7 years of age, were enrolled: 15 adolescent children diagnosed with mild to moderate AIS (mean cobb angle 36.2 degrees) and 15 matched adolescents. Oxygen consumption during steady-state treadmill walking was measured using a traditional methods and simultaneous kinematic analysis of the chest wall.


There were no significant differences in the volume of oxygen consumed in any of the phases of treadmill walking (resting, exercise, and recovery) or in breath per minute ventilation and tidal volume between control subjects and children with scoliosis (P > 0.05). Significant differences were found between assessment methods, with the kinematic analysis overestimating the average tidal volume while walking (P < 0.05).


Children with mild to moderate AIS and typically developing children do not demonstrate oxygen consumption differences when walking at a steady state on a treadmill. However, kinematic analysis of the chest wall tends to overestimate the tidal volume when walking. An offset equation is required for some variables when using kinematic data to assess oxygen consumption in children who would otherwise not comply with traditional oxygen consumption testing.


Level of Evidence: 3

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