Background: The reported prevalence of scoliosis in children with Prader–Willi syndrome varies from 15% to 86%.
Objective: To study the prevalence of scoliosis and the effects of age, gender, body mass index (BMI), total lean body mass (LBM), LBM of the trunk (trunkLBM) and genotype.
Design: Radiographs were taken, length and weight were measured (BMI standard deviation scores (BMI SDS) and body surface area (BSA)), and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry was performed, measuring LBM and trunkLBM.
Patients: 96 children, median (interquartile range) age 4.8 years (2.1 to 7.5), were included in a multicentre study. None received growth hormone treatment.
Main outcome measures: Two types of scoliosis were identified: (1) long C-curve type scoliosis (LCS) and (2) idiopathic scoliosis (IS). Children were divided into age categories (infants, 0–3 years; juveniles, 3–10 years; adolescents, 10–16 years).
Results: The prevalence of scoliosis was 37.5% and increased with age (infants and juveniles, ∼30%; adolescents, 80%); 44% of children with scoliosis had a Cobb angle above 20°. Children with scoliosis were significantly older than those without. Children with LCS were younger and more hypotonic than those with IS: median (interquartile range) age 4.4 years (1.7–5.9) vs 11.1 years (6.5–12.1) (p = 0.002) and trunkLBM/BSA ratio 7080 (6745–7571) vs 7830 (6932–8157) (p = 0.043).
Conclusions: The prevalence of scoliosis in children with Prader–Willi syndrome is high (37.5%). Many children with scoliosis (13%) had undergone brace treatment or surgery. The type of scoliosis is affected by age and trunkLBM/BSA ratio.