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Indian J Radiol Imaging. 2016 Oct-Dec;26(4):493-501. doi: 10.4103/0971-3026.195788.

Neonatal and infantile spinal sonography: A useful investigation often underutilized.

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  • 1Department of Radiodiagnosis, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
  • 2Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Sonography is an ideal, effective, noninvasive tool for evaluation of the spinal cord in neonatal and early infantile age groups owing to lack of ossification of the posterior elements of spine. Understanding normal anatomical appearances is a prerequisite for the interpretation of various pathologies of the spinal canal and its contents. This review elucidates normal appearances of the spinal cord in this age group, in both axial and sagittal planes. Usefulness of Doppler sonography is briefly discussed, and special emphasis is placed on normal anatomical variants that may mimic spinal abnormalities. Sonographic appearances of common intraspinal pathologies, both congenital and acquired, are exhaustively described. Key points regarding sonographic diagnosis of important spinal anomalies are emphasized and explained in detail. To conclude, spinal ultrasound is a reliable and widely available screening tool, albeit the usefulness of which is often underestimated.


Myelomeningocele; spinal dysraphism; spinal sonography; split cord malformation

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