Normal neonatal spinal canal on ultrasound
Clinically suspected meningitis.
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Normal spinal canal in a neonate.
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.