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Article
December 1986

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Spine in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology (Drs Bale, Bell, and Afifi), Radiology (Dr Dunn), Anatomy (Dr Afifi), and Surgery (Dr Menezes), University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Neurol. 1986;43(12):1253-1256. doi:10.1001/archneur.1986.00520120037013
Abstract

• We reviewed the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the spine of 42 children who had neurologic signs compatible with lesions of the spinal cord. Twenty-three of the children had abnormalities identified by MRI. The spectrum of abnormalities included posttraumatic lesions, tumor, tethered cord, and syringohydromyelia. Tethered cord with or without lipoma and syringohydromyelia were the most common findings, affecting six and four children, respectively. Thirteen children studied by MRI also underwent conventional metrizamide myelography and/or computed tomography. In 12 cases, the findings of MRI were comparable to those of myelography and computed tomography. These observations indicate that MRI effectively detects lesions of the spinal cord in children. Because MRI can be performed on an outpatient basis and avoids the risks of metrizamide myelography, we conclude that MRI should be considered to be the preferred screening technique for children with suspected spinal cord disorders.

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