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Twenty-nine consecutive patients with idiopathic left thoracic scoliosis were prospectively studied using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). T1-weighted sagittal and axial images were obtained on all patients from the brainstem to the tip of the conus. Two patients (7%) had a syrinx on MRI. The remaining 27 patients had normal MRIs. The prevalence of brainstem and spinal cord anomalies was much less common than reported in previous retrospective reviews.