Spinal dysraphism with anorectal malformation: lumbosacral magnetic resonance imaging evaluation of 120 patients

Seong Min Kim, Hye Kyung Chang, Mi Jung Lee, Kyu Won Shim, Jung Tak Oh, Dong Seok Kim, Myung Joon Kim, Seok Joo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We evaluated the prevalence of spinal dysraphism (SD) in patients with anorectal malformation (ARM) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods: From January 2002 to March 2009, 120 patients with ARM who underwent anorectal reconstruction were evaluated for SD with sacral plain film, spinal ultrasonography (US), and lumbosacral MRI. We adopted Krickenbeck international classification of ARM. Results: Spinal dysraphism was present in 41 (34.2%) of 120 patients with ARM, 3 (13.0%) of 23 patients with perineal fistula, 7 (29.2%) of 24 patients with vestibular fistula, 4 (36.4%) of 11 patients with rectovesical fistula, 18 (40.9%) of 44 patients with rectourethral fistula, and 9 (60.0%) of 15 patients with cloacal anomaly (P = .04). Among 41 patients having SD detected by MR, 26 patients (26/41; 63.4%) underwent detethering surgery for tethered spinal cord. The mean sacral ratio (SR) in patients who underwent detethering surgery (0.54 ± 0.19) was significantly lower than in patients who did not undergo detethering surgery (0.69 ± 0.13; P < .001). The optimal cutoff for the SR value predicting SD requiring detethering surgery was 0.605, with sensitivity of 65.4% and specificity of 77.7%. Conclusions: Spinal dysraphism is common in patients with ARM, and its prevalence is higher in patients with complex ARM. Spinal anomalies can occur even with benign types of ARM and, therefore, that all patients should be screened. Magnetic resonance imaging is useful in detecting occult SD that may be missed by conventional radiologic evaluation, physical examination, and spinal US. We further recommend a lumbosacral MRI examination in those whose SR is lower than 0.6.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)769-776
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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