Normal neonatal spinal canal on ultrasound

Case contributed by Dr Kewal Arunkumar Mistry


Clinically suspected meningitis.

Patient Data

Age: 20 days
Gender: Female

Normal spinal canal in a neonate.

Case Discussion

Spinal canal and its contents can be seen on sagittal and axial ultrasound images from the craniocervical junction to the sacrum in neonates.

On a sagittal ultrasound the spinal cord is seen as a hypoechoic tubular structure with an echogenic center (central echo complex), which is caused by the central canal. Diameter of the spinal cord varies with location and it is largest at the cervical and lumbar levels and smallest at the thoracic level.

Normal variants include transient dilatation of the central canal and presence of ventriculus terminalis. Mild transient dilatation of the central canal of the spinal cord can be seen in healthy neonates which  disappears within 1st week of life 1.

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Case information

rID: 34886
Published: 12th Mar 2015
Last edited: 14th Dec 2015
Systems: Paediatrics, Spine
Inclusion in quiz mode: Excluded

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