Prenatal diagnosis of diastematomyelia in a 15-week-old fetus

Fetal Diagn Ther. Jul-Aug 2005;20(4):258-61. doi: 10.1159/000085081.


Objective: A case of prenatal diagnosis of diastematomyelia is presented.

Methods: A case of fetal diastematomyelia, diagnosed by prenatal sonography, demonstrated the typical sonographic features of this condition. In this case it was detected at 15 weeks of gestation, and presented with a midline echogenic focus in the posterior region of the thoracolumbar spine.

Results: The pregnancy was terminated by induction of labor. The fetus was female and there was a 1-cm long endurated hyperemic lesion at the back of the fetus. We confirmed the diagnosis of diastematomyelia after termination of pregnancy by plain chest and abdominal X-ray and also MRI scanning.

Conclusion: Isolated diastematomyelia is a rare form of spinal dysraphism characterized by a sagittal cleft in the spinal cord, conus medullaris and/or filum terminale with splaying of the posterior vertebral elements. Prenatal diagnosis of this anomaly is possible in the early mid-trimester by sonography, thus allowing for early surgical intervention and a favorable prognosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Neural Tube Defects / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prognosis
  • Spinal Cord / abnormalities*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal