Spinal cord birth injury: value of computed tomographic myelography

Pediatr Neurol. 1988 Mar-Apr;4(2):105-9. doi: 10.1016/0887-8994(88)90049-5.


The value of myelography in the assessment of spinal cord injury in the early neonatal period has not been documented, although this study has been recommended frequently in the literature. Eight neonates are reviewed who presented with the clinical features of spinal cord injury and who had myelography performed. Clinical features included difficult delivery, absent respiration, flaccid paralysis, sensory level, and neurogenic bladder. Myelography revealed that 7 patients had the early changes of swollen cord and 1 patient had the late changes of cord atrophy. None of the neonates had surgical intervention. One neonate died at 3 days of age, while 2 others died after prolonged ventilation. Of the 5 infants who survived, 3 still require ventilation and have spastic quadriparesis, 1 has almost recovered completely and 1 had spontaneous respiration and limb movement but brisk deep tendon reflexes when last examined at 1 month of age. Myelography, which was performed in the early neonatal period in our infants, was abnormal in all patients. Myelography is useful in confirming the diagnosis, outlining the level and extent of the lesion, and excluding extramedullary compression. Myelography may assist in the assessment of prognosis but did not alter management in our patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Birth Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Myelography*
  • Obstetrical Forceps
  • Paralysis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*