A self-control ratio, the spine-pelvis index (SPI), was proposed for the assessment of patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) in this study. The aim was to evaluate the disproportionate growth between the spine and pelvis in these patients using SPI. A total of 64 female patients with thoracic AIS were randomly enrolled between December 2010 and October 2012 (mean age 13 years, standard deviation (SD) 2.17; 9 to 18) and a further 73 healthy female patients with a mean age of 12.4 years (mean age 12.4 years, SD 2.24; 9 to 18), were randomly selected from a normal control database at our centre. The radiographic parameters measured included length of spine (LOS), height of spine (HOS), length of thoracic vertebrae (LOT), height of thoracic vertebrae (HOT), width of pelvis (WOP), height of pelvis (HOP) and width of thorax (WOT). SPI was defined as the ratio LOS/HOP. The SPI and LOT/HOP in patients with AIS showed a significant increase when compared with normal girls (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001 respectively), implying an abnormal pattern of growth of the spine relative to the pelvis in patients with AIS.
No significant difference in SPI was found in different age groups in the control group, making the SPI an age-independent parameter with a mean value of 2.219 (2.164 to 2.239). We also found that the SPI was not related to maturity in the control group.
This study, for the first time, used a self-control ratio to confirm the disproportionate patterns of growth of the spine and pelvis in patients with thoracic AIS, highlighting that the SPI is not affected by age or maturity.