Scoliosis Clinic, Orthopaedic Department, «Thriasio» General Hospital, G. Genimata Avenue, Magula, 19600 Athens, Greece.
The aim of school screening is to identify most or all the individuals with unrecognized idiopathic scoliosis (IS) at an early stage when a less invasive treatment is more effective. However like other medical screening programs it has not escaped controversy about its value. The present study summarises the contribution of school screening in research of IS epidemiology, natural history and aetiology. Such contribution is beyond the original aim of school screening but is very important to expand our knowledge and adequately understand the pathogenesis of IS. The role of biological factors such as the menarche, the lateralization of the brain, the handedness, the thoracic cage, the intervertebral disc, the melatonin secretion, as well as the role of environmental factors such as the light and the impact of the geographical latitude in IS prevalence were studied in children referred from school screening. The present study provides evidence to support that school screening programs should be continued not only for early detection of IS but also as a basis for epidemiological surveys until we learn much more about the aetiology of IS.
PMID: 18401083 [PubMed – in process]