Evaluating congenital spine deformities for intraspinal anomalies with magnetic resonance imaging

Seung Woo Suh, John F. Sarwark*, Anand Vora, Bill K. Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The incidence of intraspinal abnormalities associated with congenital spinal anomalies as detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is becoming better defined. In this study, 41 nonrandomized children with congenital spinal deformities (excluding myelomeningocele) who underwent complete MR evaluation were reviewed. Of the 41 congenital spinal deformities, 37 demonstrated congenital scoliosis, with failure of formation in 19, failure of segmentation in 4, and mixed defects in 14. The remaining four deformities were cases of congenital kyphosis. Thirteen patients with congenital spine anomalies were noted to have intraspinal abnormalities identified by MRI: tethered cord in 12 patients, syringomyelia in 3 patients, and diastematomyelia in 5 patients. Of the 12 patients with tethered cord, 2 patients had neurologic deficits. Urorectal anomaly was one of the most common associated findings (15%). Considering an incidence of intraspinal anomalies of 31% and as clinical manifestations may not be initially detectable, MRI is recommended in patients with congenital spinal deformity as part of the initial evaluation even in the absence of clinical findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Congenital spine deformity
  • Intraspinal abnormality
  • Magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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