Serum melatonin levels in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis prediction and prevention for curve progression--a prospective study.
J Pineal Res. 2009 Apr;46(3):344-8. PMID: 19317797
National Institute of Musculo-Skeletal Disorders, Murayama Medical Center, Tokyo, Japan. email@example.com
The correlation of serum melatonin levels and curve progression in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, and the effects of melatonin therapy in scoliotic patients with reduced levels of endogenous melatonin were studied in 40 adolescent patients with moderate to severe idiopathic scoliosis. Of the scoliotic subjects, 28 had stable scoliosis and 12 had progressive scoliosis. Normal melatonin levels were derived from 25 age-matched control patients. Serum melatonin levels were monitored yearly in scoloiotic patients for a period ranging from 3 to 6 yr, revealing a diurnal pattern with low values during the day and high at night. Scoliotic patients with normal levels were not treated or were treated with a brace, and all but two patients with low endogenous melatonin were treated with oral supplements of the indole. Of the 22 patients with a normal melatonin level, 16 had stable scoliosis and six had progressive scoliosis. Of the 16 patients treated for a low melatonin level, 12 had stable scoliosis and four had a progressive course. The two untreated cases had a progressive course. Of the 12 patients who had progressive scoliosis, nine had>35 degrees of curve at initial examination. These findings suggest that melatonin deficiency plays a role in the prognosis of idiopathic scoliosis. Therefore, melatonin supplements may prevent the progression of scoliosis, especially in mild cases with less than a 35 degrees curve.