Skeletal Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 519–523 | Cite as

Klippel-Feil syndrome: patterns of bony fusion and wasp-waist sign

  • V. D. Nguyen
  • R. Tyrrel


Cervical spine radiographs of 33 patients with Klippel-Feil syndrome were studied for patterns of bony fusion and presence of wasp-waist sign. Five patients were found to have the classic features of massive cervical fusion. Two patients with two adjacent levels of bony fusion showed a wasp-waist sign. Fusion at one level of the cervical spine accounted for 26 remaining cases. The wasp-waist sign was observed in 14 of the cases in which there was complete vertebral interbody fusion, making this finding a valuable radiologic sign. Partial anterior or posterior vertebral interbody fusion, or isolated fusion of the neural arch, however, may or may not be associated with the wasp-waist sign. Klippel-Feil syndrome, easy to recognize when presenting with classic features or when associated with the wasp-waist sign, may be confused with a variety of other entities.

Key words

Klippel-Feil syndrome Cervical bony fusion Wasp-waist sign Fetal alcohol syndrome 


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Copyright information

© International Skeletal Society 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. D. Nguyen
    • 1
  • R. Tyrrel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyThe University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioUSA

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