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Return to More Children Can Benefit From ScoliScore® Testing for Scoliosis Overview

More on More Children Can Benefit From ScoliScore® Testing for Scoliosis

More Children Can Benefit From ScoliScore® Testing for Scoliosis

New York (Aug 20, 2010)

groundbreaking DNA-based molecular test that helps predict the risk of spinal curve progression

ScoliScore®, a groundbreaking DNA-based molecular test that helps predict the risk of spinal curve progression is now available to a wider age range of children. Previous indications stated that to be eligible for the test, a patient must be between the ages of nine and 13. New indications now state that there is no age limit to receive the ScoliScore as long as the physician deems the patient "skeletally immature." This new regulation allows children over the age of 13 who meet the inclusion criteria to benefit from this breakthrough testing.

The ScoliScore provides doctors with information about the likelihood that an abnormal spine curve will get significantly worse or stay the same, which may allow for earlier intervention and can help guide treatment.

"By eliminating the age limit for testing and basing treatment on skeletal maturity, more children will be able to benefit from this new diagnostic procedure," says Michael G. Vitale, MD, Chief of Pediatric Spine and Scoliosis Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/ Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. "Thanks to the ScoliScore, physicians, along with parents, can come to even more informed decisions regarding patient care."

Some 100,000 children are diagnosed with scoliosis every year in the U.S. and must be followed on a consistent, often quarterly basis, to determine and assess disease progression. For teenagers, scoliosis has traditionally been a game of wait-and-see. Patients are observed over several years, with frequent doctors' visits and X-rays, all without knowing what their long-term outcome is likely to be. While all patients diagnosed with scoliosis are monitored and followed in the same way, less than 10 percent of patients actually progress to a severe curve.

What is ScoliScore?

ScoliScore, developed by Axial Biotech Inc., uses a DNA sample from the patient's saliva. Within about two weeks a report is sent to the physician with a score indicating the child's likelihood of having scoliosis that will progress. The scores are grouped into low, moderate and severe categories.

The ScoliScore test is intended for patients:

  • With a primary diagnosis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
  • Over the age of 9 who are deemed "skeletally immature"
  • With a mild scoliotic curve (defined as <25°), or>
  • With a moderate scoliotic curve (defined as >25°, but less than 40°)

If the test shows a patient has a high risk for serious spinal curvature of 50 degrees or more, Dr. Vitale and his colleagues can intervene earlier than they would otherwise, such as by prescribing a back brace. And since less than 10 percent of teens with scoliosis progress to the point where spinal fusion surgery is necessary, the new test can also prevent unnecessary testing. Radiation exposure from diagnostic X-rays is associated with increased risk of problems with bone and breast tissue (girls are more likely than boys to have scoliosis).

ScoliScore is currently indicated for adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. An estimated 4 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 16 have the condition, making up 80 percent of all scoliosis cases.

Contributing faculty for this article:

Michael G. Vitale, MD, Chief of Pediatric Spine and Scoliosis Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, and the Ana Lucia Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Orthopaedic Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

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