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Template reporting: An attempt to simplify the spinal dysraphism jargon

Nilkanth Laxman Pal, Ambika Sumeet Juwarkar, Zarina Assis, Sanjaya Viswamitra.

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1. To approach cases of suspected spinal dysraphism in a systematic manner and categorize them according to the classification available in the literature. Enumerate all the ancillary findings which are associated with each malformation.
2. To provide a template with a checklist for reporting a case of spinal dysraphism.
3. To reinforce the diagnostic accuracy of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in characterizing various congenital disorders of the spine.
This Retrospective observational study comprising 100 patients was conducted at the tertiary institution using data collected from the PACS system over a period of 5 years (January 2009 - January 2014).

Cases of spinal dysraphism were classified into open and closed types (ratio:1:3.2). The most common type of open spinal dysraphism in our study was myelomeningocele (20%). Closed spinal dysraphism were subcategorized based on the presence or absence of subcutaneous mass. In our study, the most common types of closed dysraphisms were lipo-myelomeningoceles (22%) and diastematomyelia (22%). Numerous other MRI findings are associated with each case of spinal dysraphism like syrinx, tethered cord, vertebral segmentation anomalies, spinal curvature abnormalities and Chiari malformation. Tethered cord (86%) was the most common associated finding in our study.

Mention of the type of spinal dysraphism as well as all the associated findings in the preoperative MRI report is crucial for surgical planning. Template reporting helps to report each case in a systematic and confident manner.

Key words: Reporting Template, Diastematomyelia, Dorsal dermal sinus, Spinal dysraphism, Spinal lipomas, Myelomeningocele, Myelocele

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