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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Dec;28(7):899-903.

Prenatal diagnosis of open and closed spina bifida.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi and University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify criteria useful for differentiating closed from open spina bifida antenatally.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A retrospective study of cases of spina bifida diagnosed in a referral center between 1997 and 2004.

RESULTS:

Of 66 cases of fetal spina bifida diagnosed at a median gestational age of 21 (range, 16-34) weeks, detailed follow-up was available for 57. Of these, open defects were found in 53 (93.0%) and closed defects in four (7.0%). Closed spina bifida was associated in two cases with a posterior cystic mass with thick walls and a complex appearance, while in two cases the spinal lesion could not be clearly differentiated from an open defect, particularly at mid-gestation. Open spina bifida was always associated with typical alterations of cranial anatomy, including the so-called 'banana' and 'lemon' signs, while in closed spina bifida the cranium was unremarkable. When the data were available, levels of amniotic fluid alpha-fetoprotein were always abnormally elevated with open spina bifida and within normal limits with closed forms.

CONCLUSION:

In this study 7% of cases of spina bifida diagnosed in utero were closed. The differentiation between open and closed forms is best shown by the sonographic demonstration of abnormal or normal cranial anatomy.

PMID:
17086581
DOI:
10.1002/uog.3865
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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