Myelomeningocoele, 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 a lower limb paralysis and sensory loss, bladder and bowel dysfunction as well as cognitive impairment.
Results from failure of fusion of neural folds dorsally during embryogenesis.
There is a localised defect of the closure of caudal neuropore with persistence of neural placode (open spinal cord).
- lumbosacral: ~45%
- thoracolumbar: ~30%
- lumbar: ~20%
- cervical: ~2%
- in utero folate deficiency
- in utero teratogen exposure
- aneuploidic anomalies
- Chiari II malformation
- arachnoid cysts 1
- tethering of spinal cord
- may show evidence of an open neural tube defect with splayed or divergent posterior elements
Congenital spinal abnormalities
- spinal dysraphism
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