Spinal congenital dermal sinus (CDS) is a rare entity which supposedly results from the failure of the neuroectoderm to separate from the cutaneous ectoderm during the process of neurulation. The lesions are most frequent at the lumbosacral followed by the occipital region. CDS of the thoracic region is very rare. The patients with spinal CDS present with meningitis and/or mass effect from the associated inclusion tumor. They are usually dermoid or epidermoid cysts. Teratoma is rarely associated. The authors experienced 5 cases of spinal CDS over a 10 year period. Of the 5 cases, 2 were at thoracic and 3 were at lumbosacral levels. Dermoid cyst, epidermoid cyst and teratoma were associated in one case each. Two cases presented with neurological deficit and meningitis while an additional case presented with neurological deficit and a history of probable meningitis. Pain was present in 2 cases. Magnetic resonance imaging played an important role in the diagnosis of the lesion and planning of surgery. All the cases showed a good response to surgery even though one patient had persistent neurological deficit.
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