The accuracy of abnormal lumbar sonography findings in detecting occult spinal dysraphism: A comparison with magnetic resonance imaging - Clinical article

Academic Article


  • Object. The purpose of this study was to correlate lumbar ultrasound (LUS) and MRI findings in patients suspected of having occult spinal dysraphism (OSD). Methods. Over a 5-year period, 1273 consecutive infants underwent an LUS study at a major pediatric tertiary referral center. Of these, 106 patients had abnormal LUS findings suggestive of an OSD, and 103 underwent subsequent MRI studies. The anatomical descriptions of the 2 studies were compared for agreement. Results. The average age of the infants was 34 days at the time of the LUS study; OSD was suspected in these patients because of the presence of cutaneous stigmata and congenital defects. The most common anatomical descriptions from the LUS study included a thickened or fatty filum (32 cases), filum cyst (11 cases), and presence of a terminal ventricle or syrinx (9 cases). Using MRI findings as the standard reference, the sensitivity of LUS in detecting a thickened or fatty filum was 20%. The sensitivity of detecting an abnormal conus level at or below L-3 was 76.9%. Conclusions. In the patient population chosen to undergo LUS studies, abnormal findings had poor sensitivity at detecting anatomical findings consistent with OSD..
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chern JJ; Aksut B; Kirkman JL; Shoja MM; Tubbs RS; Royal SA; Wellons JC; Rozzelle CJ
  • Start Page

  • 150
  • End Page

  • 153
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 2