Background: Patients with congenital osseous anomalies of the spine
are known to have a high prevalence of abnormalities in the renal system and
of the spinal cord. Today, the screening tools of choice to detect these
abnormalities include ultrasonography of the kidneys and collecting system and
magnetic resonance imaging of the spine. A single screening tool that can
identify both renal and intraspinal anomalies would be ideal.
Methods: Imaging studies of all patients with a congenital osseous
anomaly of the spine seen at our institution during a ten-year period were
retrospectively reviewed. Only patients who had had both a sonogram of the
renal system and a magnetic resonance imaging study of the entire spine were
included in the investigation. All studies were reviewed blindly by a
pediatric radiologist for this study.
Results: One hundred and fifty-three patients met the criteria for
inclusion in the study. Forty-one patients (27%) had a total of forty-seven
renal abnormalities noted on both the sonogram and the magnetic resonance
imaging scan. In no instance was a renal anomaly seen on one study and not on
Conclusions: When properly performed, screening magnetic resonance
imaging scans of the spine can show renal abnormalities, thus obviating the
need for a separate screening renal ultrasound study.
Level of Evidence: Diagnostic Level IV. See Instructions
to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.