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June is National Scoliosis Awareness Month

June is officially recognized as National Scoliosis Awareness month and Cleveland Clinic Children's wants you to know about a new test called ScoliScore™ AIS Prognostic Test. Dr. Tom Kuivila, Pediatric Spine Specialist thinks it will be pretty important for his patients.

Researchers have identified 28 signs in DNA that an AIS curve will progress, and 25 signs in DNA that an AIS curve will not progress. By analyzing each of these 53 genetic markers for each patient, a numerical value can be assigned that corresponds to the likelihood of curve progression. The scores are grouped by category: mild risk, intermediate risk, or severe risk of curve progression.

Through DNA analysis extracted from a saliva sample taken right in Dr. Kuivila’s office, the ScoliScore™ test results tell him whether an abnormal spine curve is likely to worsen significantly, or stay the same. The results can help Dr. Kuivila optimize individualized treatment plans and interventions.

Because the test results may be used to predict, with over 99% probability that a mild scoliotic curve is unlikely to progress to the point of requiring surgical treatment, the need to monitor curve progression through radiographic imaging over many years can be averted for a majority of patients.

ScoliScore™ is designed for male and female patients recently diagnosed with Mild (10-25 degree Cobb Angle) Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS), who are between ages 9 and 13 years, and who are self-reported as Caucasian (North American, South American, European, Eastern European, Middle Eastern, Southwest Asian Descent).

ScoliScore™ was developed by geneticists at Axial Biotech, Inc. in Salt Lake City and it is distributed commercially by DePuy Spine, a Johnson & Johnson company.

To make an appointment with a Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatric Spine Specialist, please call 216.444.KIDS (5437).