Double dermal sinus tracts of the cervical and thoracic regions: a case in a 3-year-old child and review of the literature

Childs Nerv Syst. 2018 May;34(5):987-990. doi: 10.1007/s00381-017-3707-4. Epub 2017 Dec 26.


Introduction: Dermal sinus tracts are rare congenital abnormalities characterized by an epithelium-lined tract that extends from the subcutaneous tissue to the underlying thecal sac or neural tube. These developmental anomalies can present asymptomatically with a cutaneous dimple or with devastating complications including recurrent episodes of meningitis, or neurological complications including paralysis. Dermal sinus tracts generally occur as single lesions, and the presentation of midline double dermal sinus tracts of the cervical and thoracic regions has not been previously described.

Methods: Here, we present the case of a 3-year-old girl suffering from recurrent episodes of myelitis, paraparesis, and intramedullary intradural masses, who was diagnosed with double dermal sinus tracts of the cervical and thoracic regions. We also present a summary of all previous reported cases of multiple dermal sinus tracts.

Results: Our patient was successfully treated surgically and is now 2 years status post her last procedure with a significant improvement in her neurologic function and normal muscle strength and tone for her age, and there was no recurrence of her symptoms.

Conclusions: Early treatment with prophylactic surgery should be performed when possible, but removal of these lesions once symptoms have arisen can also lead to success, as in the case presented here. Complete excision and intradural exploration is required to excise the complete tract.

Keywords: Cyst; Dermal sinus tract; Dermoid; Spinal dysraphism.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cervical Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Spina Bifida Occulta / complications
  • Spina Bifida Occulta / diagnostic imaging*
  • Spina Bifida Occulta / surgery*
  • Thoracic Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging*