Fatty filum terminale

Case contributed by Assoc Prof Frank Gaillard


Investigated for low back pain

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Female

The lumbar canal and conus appear normal, with the tip of the conus located at the L1 level. Immediately below the conus, in the midline is a longitudinal streak of high T1 and high T2 signal tissue with attenuates following fat saturation and demonstrates no enhancement. 

Annotated image

Fat intensity tissue (yellow arrows) is seen along the proximal filum terminale, which is confirmed to be fat by noting complete attenuation of signal on fat saturated sequences. Adequate fat saturation can be confirmed by looking at subcutaneous fat (red circle). The conus (C) appears normal and terminates at the upper border of L1 (blue arrow). 

Case Discussion

This case demonstrates typical appearances of a fatty filum terminale and relatively frequent and usually incidental finding. 

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Case information

rID: 13989
Published: 9th Jun 2011
Last edited: 16th Apr 2021
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included