Understanding idiopathic spinal cord herniation - A comprehensive review of imaging and literature

Pranav Sharma, Priti Soin, Mohamed Elbanan, Puneet Singh Kochar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Idiopathic spinal cord herniation (ISCH) is displacement of spinal cord through a dural or arachnoidal defect. Most patients present with back pain or myelopathy, paresthesia, and sensory or motor weakness. Imaging findings include anterior displacement of the cord with possible kink, no filling defect on CT myelography, and no restricted diffusion/mass lesion on magnetic resonance imaging. Abrupt kink in the spinal cord or widened cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) space can be caused by a variety of reasons. The differential considerations include arachnoid web, intradural extramedullary epidermoid or arachnoid cyst, abscess or cystic schwannoma. We discuss the features, imaging, differentials, and treatment of ISCH as a rare cause of such kink in the cord. While reading such cases, a radiologist should include the location, segments involved, cord signal abnormality, visible defect, scalpel sign or C-sign, ventral cord kink, nuclear trail sign, the ventral CSF space preservation, or obliteration and the type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Imaging Science
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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