spinal dysraphism

Spinal dysraphisms refer to a broad group of malformations affecting the spine and/or surrounding structures in the dorsum of the embryo. They are a form of neural tube defect.

Pathology

The neural tube is formed by the lengthwise closure of the neural plate, in the dorsum of the embryo.

The upper part of the neural tube forms the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. The lower part of the neural tube forms the spinal canal. Dysraphism results when the neural plate does not fuse completely in its lower section.

Classification

Spinal dysraphism can be broadly divided into two different clinicoradiological entities :

Associations

Associated abnormalities of mesenchymal development occur often. Hence, lipomas and/or teratomas may be associated with any type.

History and etymology

Dysraphism is formed from the greek root raphe which means ridge or seam.

See also