Spinal cord anomalies in children with anorectal malformations: a retrospective cohort study

Cunera M. C. de Beaufort*, Julia C. Groenveld, Tara M. Mackay, K. Mariam Slot, Sjoerd A. de Beer, Justin R. de Jong, Joost van Schuppen, Carola J. McDonald, Dewi P. Bakker, Elske van den Berg, Caroline F. Kuijper, Ramon R. Gorter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: First, to assess the number of spinal cord anomalies (SCA), specifically tethered spinal cord (TSC) in patients with anorectal malformations (ARM), identified with spinal cord imaging (i.e. spinal cord US and/or MRI). Second, to report outcomes after TSC treatment. Methods: A retrospective mono-center study was performed. All ARM patients born between January 2000 and December 2021 were included. Screening for SCA consisted of spinal cord US and/or MRI. Radiology reports were scored on presence of SCA. Data were presented with descriptive statistics. Results: In total, 254 patients were eligible for inclusion, of whom 234 (92.1%) underwent spinal cord imaging. In total, 52 (22.2%) patients had a SCA, diagnosed with US (n = 20, 38.5%), MRI (n = 10, 19.2%), or both US and MRI (n = 22, 42.3%), of whom 12 (23.5%) with simple, 27 (52.7%) intermediate, and 12 (23.5%) complex ARM types. TSC was identified in 19 patients (8.1%), of whom 4 (21.1%) underwent uncomplicated neurosurgical intervention. Conclusions: SCA were present in 22% of ARM patients both in simple, as well as more complex ARM types. TSC was present in 19 patients with SCA, of whom 4 underwent uncomplicated neurosurgical intervention. Therefore, screening for SCA seems to be important for all ARM patients, regardless of ARM type. Level of Evidence: Level III.
Original languageEnglish
Article number153
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023

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