VALÈNCIA (EFE). Unit of Spine Politicians at Universitari Hospital Faith from Valencia has found an "innovative method" to monitor abnormalities in children and diagnose adolescent idiopathic scoliosis without using X-rays.
This system uses conventional ultrasound and & # 39; smartphone & # 39; with the application and, using a transverse process as a reference, you can find out the magnitude of the deformity "at a minimum cost and without special devices, & # 39; software or ionizing radiation", having informed Generalitat in a statement.
According to experts, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is a spinal deformity that develops over time and, when it reaches a certain size, requires surgical treatment.
If you do not intervene, changes in development, heart function, lung function, etc. can appear, so "it is necessary to do radiographs every six months".
When dealing with children, it has been proven that the frequency of radiographic use increases the risk of breast cancer in adulthood, among other health problems.
At present, diagnoses and follow-ups are carried out with 30 x 90 standing radiographs, and there are other complex devices that use ultrasound, "but the expensive price makes them useless in real practice."
The system developed at La Fe was "the first to be able to monitor deformity using only conventional ultrasound and telephone, making all monitoring without ionizing radiation available to specialists."
This method is being used experimentally and, for this, it is still necessary to increase the number of centers to verify its use safely, "but in studies conducted so far, this technique can be reproduced and is very effective," according to the source.
It is specifically designed for juvenile idiopathic scoliosis and has been shown to be effective in cases of patients between 8 and 20 years who are diagnosed with this type of scoliosis and who do not meet surgical criteria, a condition that is repeated in most of these cases.
More than 500,000 patients with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis
In Comunitat Valenciana there are more than 500,000 idiopathic scoliosis patients aged between 9 and 20 years, which puts the prevalence of this disease at around 5%.
With this data, the researchers estimate that more than 2,000 pediatric patients per year can benefit from follow-up using this technique.
The method developed by doctors Joan Ferràs has received the first prize Whitecloud Award Basic Science Paper.
This relates to the awards given in the basic research section Scoliosis Research Society in the field of research on diagnostics, molecular engineering and new technology.
This is the first time a Spanish group has won this award from the Scoliosis Research Society, one of the most prestigious communities in the world in spinal pathology, during the IMAST international congress held in Los Angeles and where the La Fe proposal competed with hospitals in more than 15 countries.