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Table of Contents
Vol. 26, No. 2, 2009
Issue release date: October 2009
Fetal Diagn Ther 2009;26:68–74

Prognosis of Spina Bifida in the Era of Prenatal Diagnosis and Termination of Pregnancy

Aguilera S. · Soothill P. · Denbow M. · Pople I.
Fetal Medicine Research Unit, University of Bristol, St Michael’s Hospital, Bristol, UK

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Objective: To evaluate the current outcome of a selected prenatally diagnosed spina bifida group. Materials andMethods: We analyzed and followed up 74 cases of prenatally diagnosed spina bifida. Results: Termination of pregnancy was chosen in 72% of the cases and 28% were live-born. Chromosomal defects were identified in 16%, although only 1.6% in isolated cases. Of the 21 live births, 3 died in the neonatal period. The other 18 (86%) were all alive after an average follow-up of 3 years and 6 months (range 5 months to 7 years and 4 months). From this group 11% are wheelchair-dependent, 87% of the patients older than 2 years of age are walking, 33% have had cerebral shunting and 72% have normal neurodevelopment. There was a better outcome in patients with closed defects; however, the rates of neuropathic bladder (50%) remain a concern. Conclusions: Even with prenatal diagnosis and a tendency towards apparently less severe defects in the cases in which the pregnancies continue, the prognosis in terms of morbidity needs to remain guarded.

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