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Diastematomyelia is a rare congenital deformity of the spine in which the spinal cord is split into two hemicords along the sagittal plane. This condition belongs to the group of spinal dysraphisms, is more common in females, and is usually diagnosed prenatally or during childhood; rarely is it diagnosed in adults. We report a male patient in his 50s in which diastematomyelia of the thoracic spine was incidentally encountered after receiving a CT scan of the chest for shortness of breath. Although most patients with this condition are symptomatic, the patient did not display any significant acute neurological complaints at the time. The patient had a history of spina bifida and is paraplegic, both of which are commonly associated with diastematomyelia. The lack of progressive neurologic symptoms, diagnosis in the patient's adult life, and the presence of the anomaly solely in the thoracic spine make this a rare and unusual case. Early recognition and diagnosis of this condition, by prenatal ultrasound or MRI, can help to prevent further damage to the spinal cord and allow affected patients to seek treatment sooner, thus improving quality of life.


This article was published in Cureus, Volume 13, Issue 1.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2021 Mamo et al. CC-BY.

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