Objective: To determine by ultrasound (US) the spinal canal depth (SCD) in neonates and subsequently establish a nomogram and simple formula for calculating this distance.
Design: 116 US measurements were performed by two investigators in 105 neonates at the L3/4 intervertebral space. Both anterior and posterior spinal canal depth were measured and mid-spinal canal depth (MSCD) calculated. Measurements of intra- and interobserver variability were also performed.
Results: A clear relationship was found between body weight (W, kg) and all SCD measurements in neonates. In particular, MSCD = 2.2W + 6.89 mm (R2 correlation coefficient 0.76), approximated by 2W + 7 mm.
Conclusion: SCD measurements are easily determined by US in neonates, with good correlation between weight and MSCD.
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Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Approved by the local Research and Ethics Committee.