J Pediatr Res | Volume 5, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

A Review of the use of Ultrasound Imaging of the Spine in Neonates with Sacral Cutaneous Findings

Chua Cherie1, Mary Grace Tan2,3 and Yeo Cheo Lian2,3,4,5*

1Department of Pediatric Medicine, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore 2Department of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 3Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Singapore 4Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

*Correspondance to: Yeo Cheo Lian 

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Background: Ultrasound imaging of the spine is frequently used to rule out underlying spinal dysraphisms in newborns with sacral cutaneous findings - majority of which are sacral dimples. Aim: To assess the relationship between sacral findings on newborn examination and presence of spinal dysraphism, thereby optimizing the use of ultrasound imaging. Methods: We reviewed the clinical records of newborns managed between January 2013 and December 2019, who were found to have sacral findings on newborn examination. The number and types of sacral cutaneous findings, results of ultrasound spine imaging if performed, follow up status and neurodevelopmental outcomes of these infants were examined. Results: The 332 (2.7%) out of 12,227 newborns were found to have sacral findings on examination. The 307 had single cutaneous lesion, while 25 had two cutaneous lesions. Majority (80%) of those with single lesion are isolated sacral dimples. The 129 (42%) of those with single lesion were further evaluated with ultrasound imaging of the spine, all were normal except one was reported to have a low lying cord. The 15 (60%) of those with two lesions were further evaluated and all had normal scans. None of the patients in our study population were found to have neurodevelopmental concerns associated with spinal dysraphism on follow up. Conclusion: Ultrasound imaging is not routinely indicated in infants with an isolated sacral dimple. Larger population studies may be needed to determine whether there is significant association between multiple cutaneous lesions, or complex sacral dimples, and the presence of occult spinal dysraphism.


Neonates; Ultrasound spine; Sacral cutaneous finding; Spinal dysraphism


Cherie C, Grace Tan M, Cheo Lian Y. A Review of the use of Ultrasound Imaging of the Spine in Neonates with Sacral Cutaneous Findings. Ann Pediatr Res. 2021;5(1):1053..

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