Cervical spina bifida cystica: MRI differentiation of the subtypes in children
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- Andronikou, S., Wieselthaler, N. & Fieggen, A.G. Childs Nerv Syst (2006) 22: 379. doi:10.1007/s00381-005-1165-x
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Cervical spinal dysraphism is a rare condition with only 37 cases reported in the literature, of which only seven patients had undergone preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
By using illustrative cases, we demonstrate the value of MRI in distinguishing the two different subtypes of cervical spinal dysraphism, namely, myelocystocele and meningocele.
Retrospective review of the MRI scans of six patients with cervical (one high thoracic) posterior cystic swellings, which were diagnosed as cervical dysraphism, was done.
Three patients were diagnosed with myelocystocele and three patients with meningocele. A comparison of MRI features between the two entities, as well as the associated anomalies, is discussed.
MRI is the imaging modality of choice for suspected cervical dysraphism, prior to surgery. It helps distinguish the subtypes, as well as identify the associated anomalies.