Diagnostic Criteria and Clinical Characteristics
Diagnostic Criteria for Neural Tube Defects
Diagnostic evaluation should include at least one of the following
Spina bifida occulta (closed defect): The posterior elements of the vertebral arch fail to close. There is an absence of a sac of neural tissue protruding from the back. This defect may or may not include an affected spinal cord. If not, it often goes undetected. Asymptomatic spina bifida occulta is an incidental finding arising from lower back imaging studies.
Spina bifida cystica (open defect): Myelomeningocele is the most common and severe subtype. It involves protrusion of the spinal cord, nerve roots, meninges, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Most lesions are lumbar, and higher lesions are associated with more severe clinical outcomes.
Anencephaly (open defect): Failure of the neural tube to close at the cranial end results in failure of the brain ...