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  • Oral Presentation
  • Open Access

Kidney control in spina bifida: is ultrasound sufficient or is DMSA scanning needed?

Cerebrospinal Fluid Research20041 (Suppl 1) :S39

  • Published:


  • Spina Bifida
  • Kidney Size
  • Ultrasound Parameter
  • Prospective Pilot Study
  • Visible Scarring


Prospective pilot study to evaluate the predictive value of ultrasound compared to DMSA-scans for assessment of renal damage in spina bifida patients.

Materials and methods

Thirty-five spina bifida patients were evaluated by ultrasound and the outcome of ultrasound was used to predict the outcome of subsequent DMSA-scans of the same patients. Ultrasound parameters were kidney length, dilatation of collecting systems and visible scarring of kidney parenchyma. DMSA parameters were kidney size, shape and split renal function.


In 21 patients with normal ultrasound, DMSA scan was normal. In 3 patients with abnormal ultrasound (1 scar, 1 abnormal shape of kidney, 1 dilated system), the DMSA scan was normal. In 11 patients with abnormal ultrasound ultrasonography predicted the outcome of the abnormal DMSA scan correctly.


Except for a 14% false-positive findings ultrasound is a safe predictor of normal vs abnormal kidneys in pediatric spina bifida patients. This means that kidney control by DMSA scanning can be confined to the small group of patients with severe scoliosis in whom correct visualisation by ultrasound appears to be impossible.

Authors’ Affiliations

University Children's Hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands


© The Author(s) 2004

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.