Spinal cord ultrasonography of the newborn

  • Iacopo Valente
  • Alessandro Pedicelli
  • Martina Piacentini
  • Marco Di Serafino
  • Gianfranco Vallone
  • Stefania Speca
  • Cesare Colosimo
Review Article


Ultrasound represents the first-line survey for the assessment of spinal cord development abnormalities. In fact, within 6 months of life, the non-ossification of neuronal arcs provides an excellent acoustic window that allows a detailed depiction of the spinal canal, its content and of the surrounding soft tissues. Nevertheless, an accurate ultrasound examination requires a complete knowledge of the anatomy, the condition of normality, the frequent anatomical variants and the main pathologies involved. This review is intended to briefly summarize the US technique, the main clinical indication and the key notions that could help to properly perform this type of ultrasound examination.


Innovative biotechnologies Ultrasound Spinal dysraphisms Tethered cord syndrome 


L’ecografia rappresenta l’indagine di prima linea per la valutazione delle anomalie dello sviluppo del midollo spinale. Infatti, entro i sei mesi di vita, la mancata ossificazione degli archi neurali offre un’eccellente finestra acustica che permette una dettagliata valutazione del canale spinale, del suo contenuto e dei tessuti molli circostanti. Tuttavia, un’accurata valutazione ecografica non può prescindere da una completa conoscenza dell’anatomia, delle condizioni di normalità, delle frequenti varianti anatomiche e delle principali patologie. Questa review ha lo scopo di riassumere brevemente la tecnica ecografica, le principali indicazioni cliniche e le nozioni chiave che potrebbe aiutare per eseguire correttamente questo tipo di indagine.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

According to our National and Institutional regulations, retrospective analysis of anonymized dataset does not require ethics committee review.

Informed consent

No informed consent was collected as only routine diagnostic examinations were performed. All images were appropriately anonymized.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UOC Radiologia e Neuroradiologia, Dipartimento di diagnostica per immagini, Radioterapia Oncologica ed EmatologiaFondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli IRCCSRomeItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di RadiologiaUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly
  3. 3.UOSC Radiologia Generale e PSAORN Antonio CardarelliNaplesItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento di Radiologia PediatricaAOU Federico IINaplesItaly

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