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Volume 10 Supplement 1

IRSSD 2014 Meeting Abstracts

  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Denervation of the paraspinal muscles in patients with scoliosis secondary to Chiari malformation and syringomyelia: does it improve following posterior fossa decompression?

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Scoliosis201510 (Suppl 1) :O11

  • Published:


  • Chiari malformation
  • Syringomyelia
  • Scoliosis
  • Posterior fossa decompression
  • Paraspinal muscle
  • Denervation


To determine whether denervation of the paraspinal muscles would improve following posterior fossa decompression (PFD) in patients with scoliosis secondary to Chiari malformation and syringomyelia through evaluating the alterations in expression of bax and bcl-2, two genes known to be pivotal for the regulation of cellular apoptosis.


Fourteen patients with scoliosis secondary to Chiari malformation and syringomyelia treated between July 2011 and July 2012 were prospectively enrolled. Bilateral biopsy of paraspinal muscles was performed during PFD and subsequent scoliosis surgery. Bax and bcl-2 protein levels were examined by Western blotting and then quantitatively assessed using a scanning densitometer.


The initial age and primary curve magnitude averaged 16.0 ± 3.3 years and 63.8° ± 18.3°, respectively. At 7.6 ± 2.6 months post-PFD, significant decreases in mean net gray value, positive area and positive ratio were noted for the 20kd bax protein (P=0.021, 0.013 and <0.001, respectively). The bcl-2 protein, in contrast, appeared to be enriched over the same period in protein lysates. Specifically, the positive area increased from 10.6 ± 6.1 (104) to 21.3 ± 9.2 (104) (P=0.001), while the positive ratio increased from 0.40 ± 0.17 to 0.85 ± 0.19 (P<0.001). Regarding the net gray value, a similar upward trend was observed though not reaching statistical significance (84.4 ± 35.8 versus 101.6 ± 33.3, P =0.197).


In patients undergoing PFD for Chiari malformation and syringomyelia, myocyte apoptosis could be inhibited through down-regulation of bax and up-regulation of bcl-2, indicating an improvement in denervation of the paraspinal muscles.

Authors’ Affiliations

Spine Surgery, Drum Tower Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China


© Zhu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.