Myelomeningocele

Myelomeningocele, also known as spina bifida cystica, is a complex congenital spinal anomaly that results in spinal cord malformation (myelodysplasia). 

It is one of the commonest congenital CNS anomalies and thought to occur in approximately 1:500 of live births 5. There may be a slight female predilection.

Patients present with lower limb paralysis and sensory loss, bladder and bowel dysfunction as well as cognitive impairment.

Results from failure of fusion of neural tube dorsally during embryogenesis. 

There is a localized defect of the closure of caudal neuropore with persistence of neural placode (open spinal cord).

  • lumbosacral: ~45%
  • thoracolumbar: ~30% 
  • lumbar: ~20%
  • cervical: ~2% 
  • may show evidence of an open neural tube defect with splayed or divergent posterior elements

Article information

rID: 5791
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Meningomyelocoele
  • Meningomyelocoele
  • Myelomeningocoeles
  • Myelomeningoceles
  • Meningomyelocoeles
  • Meningomyeloceles

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewers/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: associated Chiari II
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4: on antenatal ultrasound
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 5
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 6
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 7: on post natal ultrasound
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 8: upper dorsal myelomeningocele
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.