Radiology Teaching Files > Case 10476796

previously visited DIASTEMATOMYELIA
Contributed by: matt kogut, Resident, University of Washington, Washington, USA.
Patient: 72 year old female
History: 72 yo female with left leg pain

Fig. 1: Sag T2

Fig. 2: Sag T1

Fig. 3: Axial T1

Fig. 4: Axial T2

Fig. 5: Axial T1
Findings: Tethered Cord @ the L4 level
Axial images demonstrate that the cord is split
Fusion of the anterior portion of the T11/12 vertebral bodies
Spina bifida occulta
Diagnosis: Diastematomyelia
Discussion: Diastematomyelia is a rare congenital condition where the cord is split in the sagittal plane by anything ranging from a thin fibrous septation to a complete bony bar.  The septation prevents appropriate ascent of the cord leading to a tethered cord. The sepation may not be completely visualized and the cord may or may not conjoin below the septation.

There may be varying degrees of meningeal involvement as well, sometimes with two separate dural sacs.

It may present in infants with associated cutaneous stigmata and is slightly more common in females. Clinical presentation is the same as anything that tethers the cord.

It is now becoming more common to diagnose incidentally in the adult population.
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Additional Details:

Case Number: 10476796Last Updated: 08-30-2007
Anatomy: Spine and Peripheral Nervous System   Pathology: Congenital
Modality: MRAccess Level: Readable by all users
Keywords: split, cord, congenital

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