Q. Should you be worried if sedation on your baby is required for MRI to diagnose a Venusian dimple?

By on December 22, 2016

photo by AAP News & Journal






Dr. Joe Kurosu of Primary Care Tokyo gives his medical opinion on the matter.

In general, what are referred to as “Venusian dimples”,  located on the sides of the lower back, are normal anatomic features and not associated with any underlying disease. Dimples that occur in the midline (along the path of the spine, often called ‘sacral dimples’) may be associated with spinal deformities, namely spina bifida (Spina bifida is a birth defect where there is incomplete closing of the backbone and membranes around the spinal cord). They typically occur immediately above the crease of the buttocks and may also have a tuft of hair close by.  If such a dimple is present, further evaluation may be necessary, including imaging studies such as an MRI scan to rule out spinal abnormalities.

Sedation or general anesthesia would usually be required in infants and small children for such imaging studies. I would recommend that this be done at a hospital with staff (especially pediatric anesthesiologists) and experience. This would usually be a pediatric specialty hospital or large academic medical center. In the Tokyo area, my recommendation would be the National Center for Child Health and Development Hospital. If the facility does not have dedicated anesthesia staff for such procedures, I would recommend confirming who will be responsible for administering and monitoring the sedation and the facilities, experience with pediatric cases.

Again, a pediatric specialty hospital is usually the best in this regard.


About Dr. Joe Kurosu

Joe Kurosu, M.D., is director of Primary Care Tokyo, a solo practice in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo. He is an American graduate of Yale Medical School and licensed in Japan and the United States. His clinic provides a range of primary care services for the pediatric and adult patient, including immunizations, check-ups, acute & chronic disease management, and minor surgical procedures. Dr. Kurosu has experience in caring for both the expatriate and local communities in Japanese or English. Japanese National Health Insurance is accepted. www.pctclinic.com 
Tel 03-5432-7177.