Imaging of terminal myelocystoceles

Sharon E. Byrd*, Charles Harvey, David G. McLone, Crystal F. Darling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This article presents a retrospective analysis of the presentation, imaging studies, and associated findings in 20 children with surgically and histologically proven terminal myelocystoceles. All 20 children presented at birth with a back mass; 13 had cloacal extrophy. The patient population was comprised of 15 girls and 5 with ambiguous genitalia: Of the imaging studies, 8 had plain radiographs, 6 myelography-computed tomography, 11 ultrasound, and 14 magnetic resonance. The associated findings included Chiari I (eight patients), Chiari II (one patient), hydromyelia (three patients), hydrocephalus (three patients), and vertebral segmentation anomalies (six patients). Magnetic resonance imaging was the best imaging modality to diagnose and evaluate children with a myelocystocele. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated the classic findings: a terminal cyst of the central canal of the spinal cord that is tethered and herniated with arachnoid and cerebrospinal fluid through an area of spinal dysphria onto the back as a mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1996


  • Children
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Myelocystocele
  • Spinal dysraphism
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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