Dural Ectasia


Q: I am a 35 year old female with a history of low back pain with intermittent sciatica and paresthesias of toes. I recently underwent an MRI of my spine and the radiologist did not note any significant issues, but did remark that there was a dural ectasia of the sacral canal. In my internet research, "Marfan Syndrome" keeps popping up in conjunction with dural ectasia. What do you know about dural ectasia? Is this a common finding for the normal population? Should I undergo further genetic investigation, especially in light of my history with infertility/miscarriage? I would appreciate any input you might have. Thanks so much for your time.


A:   Dural ectasia is just a dilatation of the duramadre (one of the meninges, membranes that protect brain a spinal cord), in your case is located at the level of the Sacrum, at the end of the spine. Dural ectasia is a finding associated with: Marfan’s Syndrome, Neurofibromatosis, Ankylosing Spondylitis and some other neurological malformations and syndromes, but when it presents as an isolated finding with no other elements that suggest any of the diseases mentioned above, as in your case, it is just that:“a finding” with no other significance.

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