Dr RJ Benzie; Carole Chenier RDMS 01 January 2001
Diastematomyelia (Greek: diastema = interval, myelos = marrow), also known as diplomyelia, is a rare congenital defect in which the spinal cord is split by a fibrocartilaginous or osseous septum, each half being enclosed by a dural sac. This process fixes the cord in a low position, so that its normal ascent during growth is impaired.
Common skeletal anomalies associated with diastematomyelia are spina bifida (in more than 50% of the cases), kyphosis, scoliosis, and clubfoot. Vertebral defects include diminution of the anteroposterior diameter of the vertebral bodies, the presence of hemivertebrae and of block vertebrae.
The aetiology of this lesion has not been determined.
The finding of bony spurs situated between the posterior ossification centres in the coronal plane should immediately arouse suspicion of diastematomyelia, although any area of widening in the spinal canal with internal echoes should alert the ultrasonographer.
The antenatal diagnosis of this rare condition can alter the natural course of the disease by early neurosurgical intervention prior to the appearance of the permanent neurological or musculoskeletal abnormalities.
Title: Diastematomyelia: diagnosis by prenatal sonography
Author: Anderson NG, Jordan S, MacFarlane MR, Lovell-Smith M
Journal: AJR 163: 911-914
Author: Suma V, Marini A, Panagopoulos P, Catapano P, Carollo C
Journal: Fetus 4: 7425.1
Title: Prenatal sonographic diagnosis of diastematomyelia in a diabetic woman
Author: Pach– A, Maggi E, Giancotti A, Forleo S, Torregrossa G, Roggini M, Bosman C
Journal: Prenat Diagn 12: 535-539
Title: Prenatal diagnosis of fetal diastematomyelia in a pregnancy exposed to acyclovir
Author: Gubbels JL, Gold WR, Bauserman S
Journal: Reprod Toxicol 5: 517-520
Title: Antenatal diagnosis of diastematomyelia
Author: Caspi B, Gorbacz S, Appelman Z, Elchalal U
Journal: J Clin Ultrasound 18: 721-725
Title: In utero sonographic recognition of diastematomyelia
Author: Williams RA, Barth RA
Journal: AJR 144: 87-88
Title: Prenatal diagnosis of diastematomyelia: case reports and review of the literature.
Author: Sepulveda W; Kyle PM; Hassan J; Weiner E
Journal: Prenat Diagn Feb;17(2):161-5