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April 1978

Cutaneous Signs of Spinal DysraphismReport of a Patient With a Tail-like Lipoma and Review of 200 Cases in the Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology, Medicine, and Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Drs Tavafoghi and Ghandchi are now with the No. 501 General Hospital and Eghbal Hospital, respectively, Tehran, Iran.; Presented at the American Medical Association meeting, Atlantic City, NJ, June 21, 1971.

Arch Dermatol. 1978;114(4):573-577. doi:10.1001/archderm.1978.01640160051015

• The term "spinal dysraphism" was coined in 1940 by Dr Lichtenstein to designate incomplete fusion or malformations of structures in the dorsal midline of the back, particularly congenital abnormalities of the vertebral column and spinal cord. Raphes develop on the face and head, brancheal arches, sternum, and spinal column. When dysraphism occurs in these sites, failure of closure of fontanelles, cleft lip and palate, brancheal cysts, and abnormalities of the ribs and spine result.

A review of 200 cases of occult spinal dysraphism showed the condition to be more common in female patients and to be associated with cutaneous signs in more than 50% of instances. The age at which neurologic symptoms appeared in recorded cases is from birth to 76 years, the average being three years. A case of spinal dysraphism with a tail-like cutaneous structure is presented. The cutaneous manifestations accompanying spinal dysraphism that may lead to early recognition of this syndrome and early institution of treatment are discussed.

(Arch Dermatol 114:573-577, 1978)