Scoliosis Research Society
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Twins Have Different Curve Shapes

The exact reason some children have scoliosis is unknown. Some think it is due to genes and others due to how a child lives. This study hopes to help answer this question by looking at siblings that are twins. Identical twins share the exact same genes. Other studies have shown that if one twin has scoliosis the other probably will as well. The goal of the current study is to look at the exact shape of a child’s curve in both the side and front views amongst identical twins.

The x-rays of 12 sets of twins were measured. All 12 twins both had scoliosis which is a strong case for genes being a reason for scoliosis. One half of twin sets had similar curve shape in front and side view and the other half did not. If genes were the only reason for curve shape, likely all 12 sets would have identical curves. However, only half of the twins sets had matching curves. The non-matching curves between twins points to other factors as a strong influence on how a curve develops.

Schlösser TPC, Simony A, et al. The heritability of coronal and sagittal phenotype in idiopathic scoliosis: a report of 12 monozygotic twin pairs. Spine Deformity 2021 9:51-55.

Summary provided by the SRS Patient Education Committee.