Melatonin. A possible role in pathogenesis of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.
Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1996 May 15;21(10):1147-52. PMID: 8727188
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
STUDY DESIGN: The serum melatonin levels during 24-hour periods were compared between patients with idiopathic and age-matched normal control subjects.
OBJECTIVE: To find if the melatonin deficiency may have some role for progression or etiology of idiopathic scoliosis in humans.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Experimentally induced scoliosis in chicken by pinealectomy can be attributed to the defect in melatonin metabolism.
METHOD: Blood samples were correlated every 3 hours during 24-hour periods, and serum melatonin levels were measured and statistically analyzed.
RESULTS: The level of melatonin, integrated concentration through 24 hours and night time (0:00 am-6:00 am), in the patients who had progressive curve (more than 10 degrees of progression in the previous 12 months) was significantly lower than the level in the patients who had a stable curve (less than 10 degrees of progression in the previous 12 months) or in the control subjects (P<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The study suggests that normal melatonin synthesis or metabolism may have crucial role in regulating normal spine growth. The level of melatonin appears to be a useful predictor for progression of spine curvature in idiopathic scoliosis.