Journal of medical ultrasonics (2001)

Vertebral abnormality without spine-curvature deformity on prenatal ultrasonography: sonographic findings and postnatal radiographic correlations.

PMID 28444475


To evaluate prenatal US features and postnatal radiographic findings of fetuses with a sonographically detected vertebral abnormality (VA) without spine-curvature deformity (SCD). Twenty-six fetuses showing a VA without SCD on prenatal US at our ultrasound center for a 5-year period were retrospectively identified and evaluated for sonographic data and coexisting anomalies. Medical records and postnatal radiographs of all 16 live births were reviewed. Coexisting major anomalies were suspected prenatally in 8/26 fetuses (30.8%). Sonographic abnormalities were noted in the vertebral body in 27/31 (87.1%) and in the posterior element in 4/31 (12.9%). US features were absent (n = 2) or small vertebral body echo (n = 21), two separate vertebral body echoes (n = 4), or smaller or lobulated posterior arch echoes (n = 4). Among 16 live-born neonates, postnatal radiographs revealed a vertebral abnormality in 20 (95.2%) of 21 prenatally detected VA without SCD. The abnormalities were vertebral body hypoplasia (18/19) with an incomplete sagittal cleft, asymmetric/unilateral hypoplasia, or hypoplasia with a complete sagittal cleft; or abnormalities in the spinous process (2/2). Most fetuses with prenatally detected VA without SCD had hypoplastic vertebrae on postnatal radiographs. Prenatal recognition of VA without SCD can lead to an early postnatal diagnosis of a vertebral abnormality and guidance for follow-up.