Fatty Filum Terminale

Unknown Spine Case 4


33 y/o man with radicular pain.

Image Findings

A linear area of increased signal is seen on the sagittal image in the filum terminale on proton density image. On the axial image, a focus of increased signal is seen in the cross-section of the filum. On the T2-weighted image, a chemical shift artifact is seen along the borders of the filum with a black cresent along the right side of the filum, and a bright cresent along the left.


A fatty filum terminale is found in a small percentage (<1%) of normal patients. This finding as well as fibrolipomas of the filum are occationally associate with tethered cords and a low lying conus medullaris.

Another Fatty Filum Case

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Last modified January 3, 1997
Copyright 1997 Ray Ballinger, University of Florida and VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL.
URL: http://www.xray.ufl.edu/~rball/teach/6727.html