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Mariana Cardoso Diogo, Carla Conceição

1 – Neuradiology Department – Dona Estefânia Hospital

Critical Findings in Neuroradiology, Eds: Nunes RH, Abello AL, Castillo M, Springer, 1ª Ed, 2016, ISBN 978-3-319-27985-5

Vertebral fractures are relatively rare in children and, as other pediatric entities, have specificities not only clinically but also in imaging, related to the normal skeletal development.
Trauma is the main culprit across all age groups, but other etiologies such as infections or neoplasms have to be thought of. There are specific patterns of injury evolving with spinal maturity. Fractures of the ossified structures are rare below the age of 8 years and as the spine matures, the types of fractures approach that of the adult population. Special attention must be paid in order to not overlook fractures, but also to not mistake normal synchondrosis and other vertebral development variations for fracture lines. Epiphyseal involvement is also an important factor, as it may impair growth and cause severe spinal deformities. Plain radiographs, CT and MRI all play a role in the evaluation of pediatric vertebral fractures. Recommended imaging approach, imaging findings and reporting tips are discussed in this chapter, focusing in the differences of this specific population.