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Epidemiology of Dermal Sinus Tracts in Children

This page was last updated on May 9th, 2017

Incidence and Prevalence

  • 1 in 2500 births: The incidence of approximately 1 in every 2,500 live births has been reported (16). The prevalence is not clear.

Age Distribution

  • Age at diagnosis varies: Before the advent of MRI, patients were often diagnosed late, and ages at operation ranged from days to 60 years (2, 7, 15, 16, 17, 20). In recent years, the availability of MRI and an improved understanding of these malformations by primary care physicians have led to earlier diagnosis. Dermal sinuses are located most frequently in the lumbar and lumbosacral areas (16).

Sex Predilection

  • None: Although most studies show no sex predilection, a few suggest female predominance (1, 15, 16).

Geographic Distribution

  • None: There is no geographical variation related to this disease (2, 9, 16).

Risk Factors

  • None: No risk factors have been reported. However, studies have shown that a familial correlation exists between the open and closed neural tube defects (2, 3, 9).

Relationships to Other Disease States and Syndromes

  • Other spinal anomalies: Other occult spinal anomalies (e.g., split cord malformation) may accompany dermal sinus tracts.
  • Klippel-Feil Syndrome: An association with the Klippel–Feil sequence has been reported (16).

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