To verify the diagnostic value of lumbosacral midline cutaneous lesions in asymptomatic children to detect occult spinal dysraphism (OSD) and to propose a practical approach for clinical investigations with respect to the type of cutaneous lesions observed.
Retrospective study of 54 children referred to the Department of Pediatric Dermatology between 1990 and 1999 for congenital midline lumbosacral cutaneous lesions.
The private or institutional practices of participating dermatologists and pediatricians.
Main Outcome Measures
Evaluation of the diagnostic value of midline cutaneous lesions for the detec-tion of OSD. Association of skin examination findings with spinal anomalies detected by magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound.
Occult spinal dysraphism was detected in 3 of 36 patients with an isolated congenital midline lesion and 11 of 18 patients with a combination of 2 or more different skin lesions.
A combination of 2 or more congenital midline skin lesions is the strongest marker of OSD. Careful dermatologic examination is needed to detect suggestive markers and request a spinal magnetic resonance image, which is the most sensitive radiologic approach to detect an OSD.