Pilot Study: Evaluation of maturational asynchrony in the skeletal and brain development in girls with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)


The Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong is one of two scoliosis clinics in Hong Kong with more than 1000 new referrals each year. A total of 20 right AIS girls and 10 left AIS girls were recruited to this study. The diagnosis of AIS was confirmed by clinical and routine standing radiographs. Subjects with congenital, neuromuscular or scoliosis due to metabolic causes were excluded. Matched controls (17 for right AIS subjects and 11 for left AIS subjects) were recruited from local schools in Hong Kong. Before entry into the study all controls were screened by orthopaedic surgeons to confirm the absence of scoliosis. All subjects recruited were required to complete a consent form approved by the university ethics committee. MRI examinations of the brain for all subjects were performed in the Prince of Wales Hospital of Hong Kong under the supervision of Professor Winnie Chu.

All MR brain data in DICOM format were transferred from the Chinese University of Hong Kong to the Brain & Body Centre at the University of Nottingham via a specific internet platform set up recently in the Prince of Wales Hospital. The internet platform is capable of handling the exchange of large amount of source data and analysed results between the two centres for different professional inputs by all investigators.

The analysis of the MRI data was performed in the Brain and Body Centre by Dr Defeng Wang PhD and Miss Lin Shi MPhil under the supervision of Professor Tomas Paus.

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