To more accurately determine the incidence and clarify risk factors.
Overview of Literature
Superior mesenteric artery syndrome is one of the possible complications following correctional operation for scoliosis. However, when preliminary symptoms are vague, the diagnosis of superior mesenteric artery syndrome may be easily missed.
We conducted a retrospective study using clinical data from 118 patients (43 men and 75 women) who underwent correctional operations for scoliosis between September 2001 and August 2007. The mean patient age was 15.9 years (range 9~24 years). The risk factors under scrutiny were the patient body mass index (BMI), change in Cobb's angle, and trunk length.
The incidence of subjects confirmed to have obstruction was 2.5%. However, the rate increased to 7.6% with the inclusion of the 6 subjects who only showed clinical symptoms of obstruction without confirmative study. The BMI for the asymptomatic and symptomatic groups were 18.4±3.4 and 14.6±3, respectively. The change in Cobb's angle for the asymptomatic and symptomatic groups were 24.8±13.6° and 23.4±9.1°, respectively. The change in trunk length for the asymptomatic and symptomatic groups were 2.3±2.1 cm and 4.5±4.8 cm, respectively. Differences in Cobb's angle and the change in trunk length between the two groups did not reach statistical significance, although there was a greater increase in trunk length for the symptomatic group than for the asymptomatic group.
Our study shows that the incidence of superior mesenteric artery syndrome may be greater than the previously accepted rate of 4.7%. Therefore, in the face of any early signs or symptoms of superior mesenteric artery syndrome, prompt recognition and treatment are necessary.