Spinal congenital dermal sinus associated with upper thoracic meningocele. Case Report

Neurosurg Focus. 2003 Jul 15;15(1):ECP2. doi: 10.3171/foc.2003.15.1.13.


The congenital dermal sinus is an abnormal epithelium-lined sinus tract between the skin surface and deeper tissues. It occurs during neurulation when the neural groove closes to form the neural tube on Day 26 of gestation and results from a failure of neuroectoderm to separate from the cutaneous ectoderm. The most frequent location is the lumbosacral area; an upper thoracic location is quite rare. This 37-year-old man presented with headache and numbness in both arms. No specific neurological findings were observed. Physical examination revealed a dimple at T-2. Radiography and magnetic resonance imaging of the thoracic spine revealed spina bifida at T1-3, a meningocele, and a dermal sinus tract complex. The treatment approach and outcome in this unusual case are presented.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Carbamazepine / therapeutic use
  • Electroencephalography
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hypesthesia / etiology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Meningocele / diagnosis*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Radiography
  • Seizures / drug therapy
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Spasm / etiology
  • Spina Bifida Occulta / diagnosis*
  • Spina Bifida Occulta / surgery*
  • Spinal Dysraphism / diagnostic imaging*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / pathology


  • Carbamazepine