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Pediatr Neurosurg. 2005 Jul-Aug;41(4):186-91.

Long-term survival of individuals with myelomeningocele.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, WA, USA. BethEllen.Davis@nw.amedd.army.mil


The objectives of this study were to extend survival analysis into adulthood for patients with myelomeningocele (MM) and to compare survival curves for patients born with varying defect severity before and after 1975. We have reviewed existing data for 904 patients with MM seen in a large multidisciplinary children's clinic over 43 years. Before 1975, a major contributor to decreased survival is death during infancy. The presence of cerebral spinal fluid shunting is a major contributor to increased survival. After 1975, survival to adolescence is similar regardless of shunt status (p = 0.17). For all patients alive at age 16, a significant decrease in survival probability after age 34 years was found for individuals with shunted hydrocephalus compared to those without a shunt (p = 0.03). Although childhood survival for individuals born after 1975 is not related to shunt status, adults with MM and shunted hydrocephalus may be at risk for decreased longevity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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