, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 92-96

Long-term outcome and complications of children born with meningomyelocele

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The long-term functional outcome of 101 children born with meningomyelocele between 1971 and 1981 was assessed, by a combination of retrospective chart review and follow-up assessments. The children had been managed at birth using a process ofnonstandardized selection. Eighty-three of the 101 patients survived after a minimum follow-up of 8.6 years, for a mortality rate of 18%. Forty-four of 83 children (53%) were community ambulators, and this correlated well with the presence of intact quadriceps function. Forty-eight children (58%) attended normal school and were grade-appropriate. Sixty-two of 83 patients (75%) were socially continent of urine, and 71/83 (86%) were socially continent of stool. Hydrocephalus was present in 93 of the 101 children in the study, and 85 children were shunted. Half of the shunted children required a shunt revision in the first year of life, and thereafter the rate of revision decreased, so that after 2 years the risk of revision was approximately 10% per year.